During the Hobbit panel at the San Diego Comic Con, Peter Jackson let slip that he hoped to make a third Middle Earth set film that would take place after The Hobbit but before Lord of The Rings, using bits from the books’ Appendices that help flesh out Middle Earth’s history.
At that point we weren’t clear on whether this was Jackson’s genuine intent or wishful thinking, but now word has broke that Jackson and Warner Brothers are negotiating this week to set terms on how a third film would work.
The logistics are simple enough: Jackson wants two more months of shooting in New Zealand to take place sometime next year, giving him enough time to figure out just what a third film would entail and which actors he would need back for the long term. The entire Hobbit cast is on the hook for shooting pick ups next summer, so their schedules are already cleared. If anything Warners would have to raise a few salaries and take a peek at their 2014 winter slate to see if there’s room for the film, and it looks like there is. This also works as a mini franchise for them while they properly set up the Justice League flick they’ve just begun developing. I’d bet serious cash that this third flick will happen, and the upcoming New York Comic Con seems like a good place to announce it.
As far as exactly what the third film will cover, there are endless possibilities from the Appendices. My personal favorite is his little nugget from the Middle Earth timeline:
2957-80 – Aragorn undertakes his great journeys and errantries. As Thorongil he serves in disguise both Thengel of Rohan and Ecthelion II of Gondor.
Imagine The Departed in Middle Earth! And a return of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If Jackson and Warners are negotiating terms then he must have some great ideas, and we’ll keep you updated as this story develops.