It was annoying enough to purists when Harry Potter and Twilight books were split into two movies -- a blatant attempt to squeeze more money out of rabid fans -- but now we learn that "The Hobbit" is going to be carved into three movies.
If you do the math, that means director Peter Jackson will make a movie for each 90 pages of Tokien's book. And I'm guesssing that each movie will be epic-length, so we're probably in for seven-plus hours of screen time. That's more than enough time to read the book at least twice.
By comparison, the near-800 pages of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and "Breaking Dawn" of the Twilight saga were made into two movies apiece. (Jackson could have made eight or nine movies given that material.)
Jackson says his adaptation will go beyond "The Hobbit" book to mine material for the third movie. In a Facebook post, he said, "The richness of the story of 'The Hobbit,' as well as some of the related material in the appendices of 'The Lord of the Rings,' allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth."
The first film, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," will be released Dec. 14, and the second, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," will be out the following December. The third -- titled perhaps: "The Hobbit: Gone Yet Again and Back One Last Time"? -- will follow in 2014.
For more on the films -- and some snippets from film two that Jackson showed at ComicCon -- you can check out the Hobbit blog.