Peter Jackson And Ian McKellen Defend 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Against Trilogy Criticism

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One of the major controversies around Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' movies - and there have been a few, has been whether the relatively thin J.R.R. Tolkein novel can sustain a trilogy of lengthy films.

Today (Wednesday December 5), director Peter Jackson and Sir Ian McKellen defended the decision, contradicting those who thought that it may be a mistake to extend the story into a trilogy like 'Lord of the Rings'.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson told reporters on Wednesday: "The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages."

He added: "So once you start to develop the scenes and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit, so we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself. So all those factors combined gave us the material to do it."

McKellen also jumped to the defence of his director, adding: "Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work."

The star, who plays Gandalf in both the original trilogy and the new 'Hobbit' movies, added: "If we just made one movie, The Hobbit, the fact is that all the fans, the eight-, nine- and 10-year-old boys, they would watch it 1000 times. Now, they’ve got three films they can watch 1000 times."

The first installment in the trilogy 'An Unexpected Journey' is released on December 14.

PHOTOS: The characters of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

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