Jackson has already divided the Lord Of The Rings prequel novel into two movies – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, released on December 14, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which is out next year.

Jackson, who won a best director Oscar in 2003, recently told a Comic-Con fan convention that he wanted to shoot extra footage beyond the two films he had originally planned.

“There’s so much good stuff in the appendices that we haven’t been able to squeeze into these movies,” he told the San Diego audience.

The Lord of the Rings Appendices were released at the end of The Return of the King novel and contain many detailed back stories about Middle-earth.

However, Jackson did emphasise that talks with studio Warner Bros about a third movie were “very premature”.

Additional filming will be needed if JRR Tolkien’s famous novel is to be stretched to another film.

Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Sir Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Billy Connolly and Benedict Cumberbatch are among those starring in the Lord Of The Rings prequel.

The three Lord of the Rings films, which were sreleased between 2001 and 2003, reaped a $3bn (£2bn) and The Hobbit movies are thought likely to equal that level of success.