"The Hobbit" trilogy co-scribe and producer Philippa Boyens is out and about doing promotion for the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug". Speaking with Empire, she says that the third film in the series still has a long way to go:
"I can legitimately say right now that the third film doesn't exist. Pete's cutting it. As an entity, it's coming together. Actually that's not true - we have a rough assembly, so to speak, of the shape of the film and the performances. I am excited, because one of the storylines I care a lot about is the Thorin one."
Asked about the Lake-town cliffhanger of the second film, Boyens says the break felt natural to her:
"It felt so natural that I got a shock when the audience got a shock! If you can imagine what transpires next and what's coming, it's quite a huge chunk of storytelling. Not only that, but you enter into the tone of the third film, which is very definitely - as is the book, by the way - moving towards the world of Middle-earth as it becomes in Lord Of The Rings. Some dark stuff goes on."
That's one of the reasons the dwarves were split up in the second film as the audience:
"[Can] experience the attack on Lake-town through the eyes of people we've come a long way with. We wanted some of the dwarves to understand what happened in that firestorm, that holocaust that rains down upon Lake-town. Bofur (James Nesbitt) comes more into his own in the third film. A rift begins to open up. And I can't say much more without going into spoilers for film three, but it's primarily because we needed him to be there when the dragon attacks."
"The Hobbit: There and Back Again" is currently slated for a December 17th release.