When signed on to make the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy all those years ago, people at the time thought, "Wow, you're crazy! Good luck with all that." But it was Jackson who had the last laugh when the movies went on to make insane amounts of money and become one of the instantly classic, iconic trilogies of cinema.
But since taking on his adaptation of The Hobbit, Jackson is pretty much in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of position. After the success of LotR, fans everywhere expected the same level of success with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. By all accounts, the first of the Hobbit trilogy fell a bit short of that aim., at least to the impossibly high standards of fans.
Will Jackson be dipping into his old bag of tricks and relying on the multiple plot format that made The Two Towers so successful for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Yes. Yes, he is. The director said in a live chat that
It is complicated to do a middle film, but the advantage is that we have multiple storylines. The first of the 'Hobbit' movies is a fairly linear film; Gandalf leads the dwarves across Middle Earth at the beginning of this adventure.
The great thing about this second movie, as it was with 'The Two Towers' actually, is that the story starts splitting into multiple storylines and we follow different characters as the story intensifies and the stakes go up.
I'm sure somewhere, somehow, fanboys are already up in arms about this and raging that it's going to "totally destroy" the movie and that Jackson is "completely ruining the books".
In any case, Jackson also revealed on his Facebook page that he is already hard at work on the second of the three films:
Jabez and I sit in that editing room all day, every day, editing the second Hobbit movie, and we actually start on the third next week! A lot of that movie was shot nearly a year ago, so I'm looking forward to seeing it come alive, shot by shot in the cutting room. It's like assembling one of those complex 2000 piece jigsaw puzzles.
No matter your views on how the first movie of The Hobbit stacked up against LotR, you have to admire the man's passion for and love of the source material. The Desolation of Smaug, starring as Bilbo Baggins, is looking at a holiday release of December 13th of this year.