Director Peter Jackson has confirmed that his big-screen adaptation of The Hobbit will now be a trilogy.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled for release at the end of this year, with a second instalment - The Hobbit: There And Back Again - due in cinemas in late 2013.
And the filmmaker - who previously adapted JRR Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy - has now revealed that a third movie will follow in summer 2014 - as we reported recently.
Writing on Facebook, he said: "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.
"Recently Fran [Walsh], Phil [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'."
Jackson explained that the third movie would be based on material from the appendices of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.
He said: "We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.
"The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth."