Finally this afternoon, a number of you Hobbit fans have expressed disappointment that Warner’s newly-announced The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition is only 13 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, when apparently director Peter Jackson has said previously in interviews that it was going to be something more like 20-25 minutes longer, and you’ve asked us here at The Bits for an explanation on all this. There’s also disappointment that there’s only one audio commentary track on the set, when the previous Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions had four each. And many of you say you feel cheated because of all this by Warner, etc, etc….
Look… one hopes that Jackson himself will comment on these issues, because we certainly can’t explain his thinking (and don’t wish to speak for him). However, my own suspicion/opinion is that Jackson almost certainly made these decisions himself and not Warner Home Video – if he’d wanted the cut of the film to be longer he could have made it so, and if he’d wanted or had time to create more commentary tracks for the set he could and/or would have. Do keep in mind, he and the cast and crew are under the gun trying to complete The Desolation of Smaug in time for its theatrical release on December 13th. It’s possible that some of the so-called “missing minutes” are being held for the eventual Extended Edition of Smaug. It’s also not exactly “apples to apples” to compare this release to the previous Rings: Extended Editions – those films were each based on a substantial book of their own, with ample material to mine for additional scenes, whereas The Hobbit is a single book stretched into three separate films – and many critics feel that the first film was already too long theatrically. So... some perspective. Nevertheless, we’ve asked for clarification from our sources on the matter and we’ll see what happens.
For those of you who are truly disappointed, we would suggest visiting Jackson’s Facebook page and (politely!) communicating your feelings there. You never know, maybe you’ll get a direct response. Enough said.
All right, that’s all for this afternoon. Stay tuned…
- Bill Hunt