Middle-earth fans, you may need to sit down for this one: Peter Jackson has confirmed "The Hobbit" will become a trilogy.

"It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made," Jackson wrote on Facebook. "Recently Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie -- and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: Do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.'"

Rumors of a third film emerged at Comic-Con, when Jackson told a HitFix reporter that he was considering splitting the second and final part of "The Hobbit" -- titled "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" -- into two films.

"We have certainly been talking to the studio about some of the material we can't film, and we've been asking them so we can do a bit more filming next year," Jackson told HitFix at the time. "Which, I don't know what would come of that, whether it'd be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing."

Currently, the third "Hobbit" film is slated for a summer 2014 release date. Meanwhile, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" arrives on Dec. 14, and "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" is out on Dec. 15, 2013.

Skeptical fans might be concerned over the third film's plot; after all, some felt that there was lack of material in J.R.R. Tolkien's original book. It is rumored that Jackson will use material from the appendixes Tolkien wrote at the end of "Return of the King," the final chapter in the "Lord of the Rings" series, to close "The Hobbit" trilogy.

Of course, plot worries might not matter that much in the long run. Jackson's last Tolkien trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings," grossed nearly $2.9 billion worldwide.

For Jackson's full statement regarding "The Hobbit 3," head over to his Facebook page.

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  • The Hobbit production diary #1 - Start of production (HD)

    The first production diary video from The Hobbit, as posted by Peter Jackson on his facebook page. Enjoy!

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #2 [HD]

    Second behind-the-scenes production video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson.

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #3 [HD]

    Third behind-the-scenes production video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson!

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #4 [HD]

    Fourth video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson. You get more of a look at some of the aesthetics, the work put into creating a 3D movie, and a sneak peak at the actors themselves working. Thank you to everyone for being so great! I will always have these out to you as soon as they're available. And as you know, for disclaimer purposes, I own absolutely none of this. Just trying to share Peter Jackson's brilliance for the masses.

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #5 [HD]

    Fifth behind-the-scenes video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson. A little holiday treat from the team in New Zealand! Location shooting, more of the the actors and sets. I own nothing, as per usual.

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #6 [HD]

    Continuation of location shooting, now for THE HOBBIT: PART 2. New Zealand is as gorgeous as ever, even with her somewhat temperamental weather. We get to see more of the actors in action, in costume. A little bit of the life on set. And of course interviews from the cast and crew, including the normally elusive Martin Freeman, Mr. Bilbo Baggins himself. Tumblr link: crieffandcrowley.tumblr.com Side note: I get CONSTANT inquires for when the next Hobbit production video will be uploaded, my favourite being, "why are you waiting so long to put up the next video?" To be clear: I am NOT Peter Jackson. I don't make these videos! The very thought makes me laugh senslessly. I upload them as Peter Jackson sends them out, which he does every few months or so. I can't rush him; I have absolutely no control in the matter. Keep in mind too that you need to allow them time to film in between production diaries and to gather new material for there to even BE a new video worth watching! That being said, cheers, and I'll see you when the next one comes around.

  • THE HOBBIT, Production Video #7 [HD]

    Seventh behind-the-scenes video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson

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