A trend in popular film is to make two movies out of a book rather than one, especially if it’s the last film in a series. (Think Twilight, Harry Potter, etc.) This makes more money for the studio, of course, and fans don’t seem to mind.
The final film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy is probably what made this seem like a good idea. That movie ran so long and had so many endings it felt like two.
Now, it seems the same film makers who made the LOTR trilogy are considering turning a single book into not just two, but three films. Director Peter Jackson is considering extending The Hobbit to trilogy length. Keep in mind that it’s just one book and intended for children at that, but Jackson says he’s planning to incorporate some supporting material that author J R R Tolkien wrote later.
The original plan was to have the first half of The Hobbit for a 2012 release around Christmas and the second half for Christmas in 2013. The new plan would proceed with the 2012 release, but Jackson would reassemble the cast to shoot some additional scenes early next year for the second and third films.
If you’ve read the book, you know it basically involves a group of characters that take a journey and ultimately return home. In fact, “There And Back Again” is the book’s subtitle. I could see making one film about the “there” portion of the book and a second about the “back again,” but splitting the second half in two seems rather excessive.