Why will it take three movies to adapt ‘The Hobbit’?

Why will it take three movies to adapt 'The Hobbit'?I’m having a bit of a math problem trying to figure out why director Peter Jackson needs to make three full-length motion pictures to tell the story of The Hobbit, the prequil of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was only one book while The Lord of the Rings was three books.

When Jackson made three Lord of the Rings movies, it make perfect sense; three books, three movies. What doesn’t make sense is taking a single book and turning it into three movies.

For comparison sake, I thought it would be interesting to see just how much material there was in each of the books. If one were to sit down and read all of the books, how long would it take? I found the following times from the unabridged audio version of each book:

  • The Hobbit – 3 hours and 42 minutes
  • The Fellowship of the Ring – 3 hours and 24 minutes
  • The Two Towers – 4 hours and 29 minutes
  • Return of the King – 3 hours and 11 minutes

The Lord of the Rings trilogy as written weighs in at over eleven hours of audio content. The Hobbit¬†as written is less than four hours of audio content, yet I’m supposed to believe that Jackson needs the same amount of movie, three separate films, to tell both stories. I’m not buying it.

Literally, I’m not buying it. Not the super deluxe Blu-ray box set, not the extended director’s cuts, not even the theatrical release.

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