The Hobbit: Extended Edition due next year

News Simon Brew 5 Oct 2012 - 07:36

Peter Jackson will be bringing a longer cut of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to disc in 2013...

This one isn't that much of a surprise, but Warner Bros has confirmed that an extended version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released on disc towards the end of 2013. It looks like The Hobbit films will be mirroring the release pattern of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, with a standard disc release earlier in the year, and then the extended edition to follow.

We've never minded the idea of a double release in a year, as long as one version isn't announced the week after we've bought the first one. It seems fairer, to Warner Bros' credit here, that it's up front about its release plans.

It does of course raise the question of just how long Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy will ultimately be. It's already been extended from two films to three, and it looks as if there's going to be a trio of longer cuts of each of the movies, too. That's a lot of material from a comparably slim source.

For now, though, we await eagerly the theatrical release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in December...

The One Ring.

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Isn't the extra material coming from the various appendices, and telling stories alongside The Hobbit? There's a huge amount of material in those appendices, I thought for example, we'd be seeing more about the story of Aragorn and Arwen.

I'm not really bothered by the expansion of the source material, because even if they wouldn't use the Appendices they have to tackle the structure of the original story. The Hobbit has so many twists and turns in it, as well as a huge cast of protagonists, that I feel it might be a very good idea to spread it out over three movies. There is a risk that the 13 dwarves become too shallow as characters, or that the different plotlines become too rushed. The cartoon from 1977 managed to cram the whole story in one film, but only by cutting half the content and giving very little for the other dwarves than Thorin to do.

I like the idea of putting Appendix material into the film, on the basis that any glimpse of Tolkein's Middle Earth history is likely to be well worth watching. However, I have to state that my idea of perfection regarding this would be to have a major epic motion picture based on The Silmariliion (Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallabeth) and possibly including some background information and material from "Unfinished Tales" where it agrees with the main text. Surely this could also run into at least three major productions?

As long as it was more interesting to watch than it is to read!

True. It will be good to make sure that all the dwarves get some decent characterisation, given the cracking cast they've got in tow.

Also, when people say it's a slim source they're forgetting that movie adaptations are ALWAYS criticised for cutting stuff out, even doubles like Harry Potter 7. One of the best received adaptations of all time is the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, clocking in at 5 hours (and that didn't have extant material from like four other books to draw on). Let's not forget that the climax of The Hobbit features about 7 groups of characters, and the book only covers Bilbo's side of things. It's already been stated that Gandalf's side of things will be detailed more thoroughly (as opposed to disappearing and reappearing for key moments), and we can assume that we'll also see more of the goblins, the men and the elves in the coming movies. Three movies might be too much for the story of Bilbo, but it should prove adequate for the story of The Hobbit, if (and this is a small if) Peter Jackson knows what he's doing.

Oh FFS, can we just get the bloody thing into the cinema first?

no, they added some of that in to the LOTR film. all we're getting is the stuff that happened at the same time as the hobbit and the history of the dwarves

The Hobbit movie production was always going to be a trilogy and there was always going to be extended editions of it. The jury is still out whether or not the movies will match the success of The Lord of the Rings movie production and its extended editions. And by success I mean box office success and DVD sales success, which is how the LOTR movie production success was measured. As to whether or not the Hobbit movie production is a success in meeting JRR Tolkien's intentions for writing the Hobbit is another matter and is probably something that the studio is not concerned with and on that score the Hobbit movie production wouldn't have had too much difficulty in eclipsing the LOTR movie production but has disqualified itself by being made into a trilogy. The trilogy aspect also didn't help the LOTR movie production in meeting Tolkien's intentions because Tolkien never intended the book to be a trilogy or called it one. And that was not the only way that the LOTR movie production failed to meet Tolkien's intentions and will be not the only way that the Hobbit movie production will fail to meet Tolkien's intentions.

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