Peter Jackson to Produce a New Middle-earth Trilogy
Though many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would love to see Jackson adapt The Silmarillion, the film rights to that book – completed by his son, Christopher, and published after Tolkien’s death – have never been sold. Instead, Warner Bros. will focus on creating an original trilogy that bridges the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Details of the plot have not yet been released, but it is understood that the films will fill the time gap between Tolkien’s famous tales. And befitting the original nature of the new trilogy, the story will follow the Elf Tauriel, an original character created by Jackson and his fellow writers, and portrayed by Evangeline Lilly in The Hobbit trilogy.
Though – citing fatigue after creating The Hobbit films – Jackson does not intend to direct the new trilogy, he will be co-writing the films with his partners, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, as well as producing. And Guillermo del Toro – the original intended director of The Hobbit – is currently busy with pre-production on Pacific Rim 2, but will contribute to the new films as a consultant.
No director has yet been chosen, but Warner Bros. is favoring Gollum himself, Andy Serkis, who served as a second unit director on The Hobbit and is making his directorial debut with the currently-filming Jungle Book Origins.
Expect to see the first of three new Middle-earth films hitting theaters in December 2018.