First, I must say, I completely love the LOTR trilogy. So what I say next is more fanboy exuberance than actual criticism. I firmly believe that whatever Peter Jackson has in store for us in November will be awesome.

Now, having said that, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little surprised that they were turning The Hobbit into not two, but three movies. It’s just that it is a much smaller story than LOTR with fewer subplots and moving pieces. Is there really enough fodder there for three Middle Earth-sized movies?

Well, rather than complaining about it, I’ve decided to take a more constructive approach with five suggestions on how they can make three awesome movies out of one relatively short book. All of this is with the understanding that, really, I’ll just be happy to revisit Middle Earth:

1. Include a very long prologue.

We know that The Fellowship of the Ring already did a prologue on hobbits and the forging of the One Ring and how Isildur failed to destroy the Ring. And then they did another prologue of how Smeagol became Gollum. But why not do another prologue, maybe one about the dwarves and how they lost their treasure or any other number of Middle Earth-ish topics?

2. Turn the part in the goblin tunnels into an all-out battle.

There’s nothing Weta does better than big battles. So even though this one isn’t technically a battle in the book, a little embellishment never hurt anybody. Extend the chase, feature lots of goblins getting their heads lopped off (a la Aragorn in the Mines of Moria) with black stuff squirting out, and have impossible stunts involving collapsing rock walls. We won’t mind a bit.

3. Turn the forest fire part into an all-out battle.

Hey, and while we’re at it, why not throw in another battle right after that? Except in the film version, Gandalf doesn’t toss down flaming pine cones; he rains down massive columns of heavenly fire. And, in addition to wargs, the goblins are riding Oliphaunts and have towering catapults. And then the men of Rohan arrive and in one mighty charge they…

Oh wait. They already did that in Return of the King, to magnificent effect, by the way. Well, find some vast army to march in and entertain us with impossibly massive warfare.

4. Include a real-time tour of Beorn’s property.

Not only is Beorn freaking awesome in battle, but he’s also an excellent homesteader. Why, with his acres of gardens and beehives and who knows what else, we could get hours of entertainment just wandering the grounds or seeing how he makes all that delicious-sounding food.

A nice second option might be seeing what Beorn does during the night when he sneaks out and kills the goblin and his warg. You just can’t get enough of Beorn. He’s a giant, gardening bear-man, for goodness sake.

5. Chronicle Gandalf’s adventures while he’s away.

So this is a cheat, we know, because Peter Jackson and company will be doing exactly this, dipping into the appendices to show us what Gandalf did after he ditched Bilbo and the dwarves at the gates of Mirkwood (terrible timing, by the way, old chap). By the looks of the trailer, he scores some alone time with Galadriel and talks to Galadriel and she brushes his hair back and… well, it will be good to see what else he does other than hang out with Galadriel.

What do you think the Weta team could add to The Hobbit to fill its three movies? Share in the comments below!

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