At Comic-Con earlier this month, Peter Jackson teased the possibility of turning The Hobbit, currently set to be released in two instalments, into a trilogy.

At the time, he seemed careful not to use the word ‘trilogy’ himself, describing it specifically as hoping to go back and shoot more footage in the new year, but he definitely seemed to have a bit of a knowing smile about him in his response to the question, and now it looks like the possibility of a third film is becoming more concrete by the day.

THR report that Jackson, Warner Bros., producer Fran Walsh, and writer-producer Philippa Boyens began exploring the logistics of turning the two instalments into a trilogy, and their sources say that those talks have been accelerating in recent days, with the studio on board if all the right financial arrangements can be made.

Those arrangements would naturally include securing new actor deals for the cast, which is already significantly extensive, as well as cementing the rights they own to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the surrounding material they intend to use.

“If we’re going to do it, we have to make a decision soon,” says a source close to the production. “It’s strongly driven by the filmmakers’ desire to tell more of the story.”

Across the instalments, we can look forward to seeing Martin Freeman take the lead as Bilbo Baggins, and alongside him will be many new and familiar faces alike, including Andy Serkis, Stephen Fry, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, and Christopher Lee.

As things stand, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in regular and IMAX theatres in 3D this December, followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again in December 2013.

But if all goes well, and Jackson is able to return to Middle-earth once more with all his cast and crew, it’s certainly looking like we’ll have a third instalment on our hands, and we could likely expect that to hit in December 2014.