Still utter bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.
Fellowship of the Ring: 177,227 words.
The Two Towers: 143,436 words.
Return of the King: 134,462 words.
The Hobbit: 95,022 words.
Now this length of material does not quite reflect how Jackson handled the films. The Two Towers as a film (which I am just back from seeing with a live orchestral performance here in Dublin, part of the trilogy sequence that began last year and concludes next year and is pretty awesome) is the most stretched thin of these, in that a brief part of it is consigned to FOTR and a bigger chunk of it is shifted over to ROTK.
But every single individual film in the LOTR trilogy had more material to work with than the Hobbit trilogy as a whole. That's less of a controversial opinion than it is quite literally demonstratable.
And I consider one of the strengths
of the film trilogy was its ability to condense Tolkein's tomes. That really was driven home to me watching the Two Towers today - juggling three strands of story arc, a dozen principal characters and a major theatre of war, it's relentlessly kept moving by the scope and the variety of its action. And as observed, it draws the least amount of text - these strengths are more obvious to me in the other two films.
But the people who seem to just blindly say that there is no way you can film the Hobbit and make it multiple films (which they even said with two) are utterly wrong. Period.
No one has said it's factually impossible. This is perhaps the most basic straw man imaginable. Obviously it's factually possible that someone can make three Hobbit movies because that is what is happening
Just as, for example, it is possible to make a three hour King Kong movie. And I know this because it happened. I also consider that film a bloated, misguided mess of a picture. And the concern that the Hobbit films will feel bloated and that it will drag out its material (and/or otherwise pad it with a lot of new material of variable quality, which we know
is happening) is not the same thing as saying these films cannot be made.
This is a gamble. Whether Jackson can pull it off is a good question - I hope he can, and does - but it's definitely a gamble.