‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’: New TV Spot, Magazine Covers & Running Time Revealed

Published 3 years ago by

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” narrates Ian Holm as the elderly Bilbo Baggins in a new television spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, bringing the famous opening line from J.R.R. Tolkien’s source material to life. The new spot offers an exciting montage that mixes familiar and previously-unseen Middle-earth imagery (The Shire! Rivendell!), characters (Gandalf! Gollum!), and action ensues thereafter (Sword fights! Battles with trolls and rock monsters!).

That’s a potent combination of elements bound to send Tolkien-philes bouncing off the walls as much as the full-length trailer (if not more so). There are also five new character magazine covers and information about the official running time for An Unexpected Journey, for those who need a stronger fix of Hobbit-goodness.

To say that expectations are somewhat overblown for the first installment in Peter Jackson’s second Middle-earth film trilogy would be a massive understatement – almost as massive and overblown as the actual $500 million project (zing!). On a more serious note: we remain optimistic that the charm and sense of wonderment inherent to Tolkien’s novel won’t be lost in translation, even while being stretched out and supplemented with Tolkien’s additional notes in order to fill out three blockbusters.

Warner Bros. recently announced that an extended cut of An Unexpected Journey is arriving next year, but it’s Jackson who has broken the news about the running time for the theatrical version. He told Empire that he expects it to end up around 2 hours and 40 minutes (once end credits are added and all the effects/CGI shots have been finished), making it “our shortest Middle-earth [movie] yet.” Of course, by Jackson standards – remember, this is the same filmmaker whose take on King Kong ran for over three hours – “shortest” is very much a relative term.

Check out the 2D versions of Empire’s new 3D lenticular Hobbit magazine covers (per usual, click on each thumbnail for the full version):

Here is a synopsis for An Unexpected Journey:

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14th, 2012.

Its sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, follows on December 13th, 2013.

And the final installment, There and Back Again, releases on July 18th, 2014.


Source: Empire

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  1. This looks so good. Hope it doesn’t end up ‘dwarfing’ LOTR! (pun initially un-intended)

    • Lol

  2. Can’t wait! Two months and counting for our return to Middle Earth.

  3. I don’t know about you, but the CG characters and effects in the trailer look so fake, except for Gollum. Remember those beasts in Hunger Games? Yeah, same level of fakeness, if that is even a word :S

    • “(once end credits are added and all the effects/CGI shots have been finished)”

      • Not to mention that the trailer is no doubt cut back to under 30fps, instead of the native 48fps they would be building the effects at.

        But its comparable to the Wargs from Two Towers imo. No big deal. You can count on Weta to deliver where it counts, just like in the first 3 films.

  4. 2 hr 40 mins isnt bad, especially since this is gonna be three films too.

  5. So they somehow stretch a very thin and simple book in to 3 movies, and the first movie is almost 3 hours long?

    Anyone but me see a problem here? In other words, what kind of ridiculous refuse have the tacked on for a money grab. I’m very leary of these movies to be honest.

    • No, Sean, I don’t. If you’ve read The Hobbit, then you should be aware that there are many conversations, instances, and occasions that are only briefly alluded to and can be more fully fleshed out on screen. If you have a problem with a screenplay differing slightly from the book on which it is based, then you must not have liked The Lord of the Rings, as that screenplay differed from the books in many respects. Those books, in fact, were long, drawn out, and boring compared to the films. Now, will the studio get more money from three films…certainly. Will the fans get to spend more time in Middle Earth…yes. If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to go. As for me and countless other fans, we’ll be there without regret.

    • They are also adding story lines from other Tolken works… hence the third movie.

  6. Awh man! I was hoping for over 3 hours! I want as much Middle-earth as I can get :(

    • Don’t worry, my friend. Extended editions will come.

    • Same here..2h40min is too short,way too short ! Hope around 4hours !
      That would be great !

      • Just bring back the intermission!

  7. WHY do they insist on making a point of telling us, “this film is not yet rated”?! Is there some segment of the population secretly hoping it will turn out to be an R rated film so they are keeping this group’s hopes up?

    • Lol mongoose, good question though.

      My bet would be that the process of Classification, although highly unlikely, could result in any movie deemed unsuitable by the board of classification, and therefore not receive a rating and could essentially be banned.

      So it’s kind of like, don’t count your chickens just yet? perhaps?

      • correction ‘any movie BEING deemed unsuitable’.

    • I wouldnt be overly suprised if they were trying to make it PG. Dont forget the hobbitt is pretty much a kids book. The studio would love to get the PG audience to see this one.

    • It might be as simple as a rule that ratings must be mentioned in commercials, and if a film is not yet rated (for whatever reason), then they must also reflect that.

      • Stop being so coldly logical. :P

        It just seems like they make a bigger deal out of it than it actually is considering how big it is at the end with a nice border around it to draw your attention no less.