Peter Jackson revealed in a new interview that the final installment of The Hobbit -- and thus his last of six films set in the world of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings -- will end with an epic, 45-minute battle that will pit a half-dozen factions against one another, as well as introducing a major new CG character.
This means the trilogy, originally scheduled to be two films and expanded to three, will end with the longest battle sequence yet in the franchise.
A big part of the plan comes down to the Eagles, whose Lord of the Eagles will be revealed in the film. And, yes, the director acknowledges the whole "Eagle Thing" that fans have been yelling about for years.
“Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly,” Jackson told Entertainment Weekly. “So here they’re just part of the plan, not the saviors. I mean, I do realize that if the eagles had just been able to bring Frodo to Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and let him drop the ring in, those movies would have been much shorter.”
He also acknowledged that in a battle scene this protracted, there's the possibility for it to get overwhelming and even a bit boring -- and there's a plan in place to avoid that, which revolves around coming back to characters the viewer cares about rather than lingering too much on spectacle.
“We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,” Jackson said. “Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.”