"Serious talks" have turned into official news: The Hobbit is now being split up into three movies instead of two, with the third part to arrive in the summer of 2014.
Peter Jackson broke the news on Facebook:
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of The Hobbit films, I'd like to announce that two films will become three.
It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."
Jackson's Lord of the Rings was famously long and still contained hours of additional footage. Is a trilogy for Bilbo the right move?