Word out of Comic Con 2012 was that Peter Jackson is thinking about turning 'The Hobbit' - his two part prequel to the 'Lord of the Rings Trilogy' and adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic  - into a trilogy. This was not just idle talk as he and the studios are now in "deep negotiations."

This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, and it seems there are two obstacles in the way: Schedules and rights issues. As the lowest grossing film of the original trilogy made $870 Million worldwide, and with the 3D price bumps that will come with the latest films, we're betting that it will all get sorted.

We reported that Jackson said this at the time:

We also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of ‘The Hobbit’…Fran and I have been talking to the studio about other things we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting, probably more than a few weeks actually, next year. And what form that would actually end up taking well the discussions are pretty early…

There are a number of questions about this, foremost to us is: "Is there really enough material?" 'The Hobbit' is the shortest book in the 'Lord of the Rings' book series, and though Jackson has worked in other material, it always felt a little thin for two movies, especially two movies that are likely to run near three hours long. On top of which, if they do make it three movies (which could run a collective nine hours), will they have to find new end points for the first and second films? Instead of two three hour movies could we get three that run - say - two hours and change a piece?

It's all idle speculation now, but we expect this to be resolved shortly, and it would be shocking if they decide against the trilogy idea. Shocking.