Guardian columnist James Russell writes in a sure-to-be-controversial piece that he doesn’t think the move to make the Hobbit into a trilogy is all about money. Rather, he wonders, is Peter Jackson “pushing his new Tolkien project to ridiculous extremes because he has nothing else to offer?”

He writes: “I think something much more dispiriting has motivated the decision: creative stagnation.”

“Who knows, the movie(s) might be good, and I might have to eat my words. While it may be maddening for those who see cold, hard profit as the prime motivation behind The Hobbit, it looks sad rather than venal to me. Jackson used to be a genuinely capable and interesting figure, with a particular talent for pioneering technical accomplishments (his decision to film in 48fps is the most compelling thing about The Hobbit). It sounds crazy to say, in light of the visionary epic fantasies he has created, but surely he could choose more creatively ambitious projects than this.”