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Agence France-Presse
Los Angeles, July 26, 2012
With the end of the Batman story by Christopher Nolan in sight as it releases worldwide this weekend, Warner Bros Studios could gain a new franchise as director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit could be the next blockbuster trilogy. Jackson is negotiating with the film studios to extend his original plan for The Hobbit, a film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic book, as a two-parter to a three-part film series.

Filming was completed on The Hobbit in early July, but at Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, Jackson mentioned possibly shooting more footage.

With the adaptation now in the editing phase of production, a report in the Los Angeles Times suggests Jackson believes there is enough material for a trilogy, especially with the appendices to The Lord of the Rings.

If a third Hobbit film is green-lighted, it would require additional footage, which also means making arrangements with the actors, such as Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen.

The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released in December, followed by the second, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, in December 2013. A third film, if decided on, it would probably be released in 2014.