The Hobbit movie will be released on December 14. That is to say, the first installment will be released. The plans have been for the story to be told in two parts, with the second movie coming out in the following year. But recently it has been reported that director Peter Jackson, who gave us the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film, wants to turn the Hobbit into a trilogy also.
Tolkien fans have been worried that stretching the rather slender plot of a pretty short novel over three motion pictures would distort the tale. Lord of the Rings consisted of three separate novels, so three separate movies did them justice and corresponded to the trilogy’s epic scope. The Hobbit, though, is in a lighter key, a simple story, in the words of the sub-title, of “there and back again” that could be ruined by an overblown Hollywood treatment.
I say go for it, and also get the rights to the Silmarillion. There is material for lots of movies there. We need one on Beren and Luthien. The Children of Hurin. That road goes ever on.