The extended editions of each installment in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy incorporate material that didn’t make the theatrical cuts (for reasons that relate to pacing, narrative structure, etc.). These versions of the movies tend to please the most die-hard J.R.R. Tolkien fans, who’re more than willing to spend extra time exploring Middle-earth onscreen – especially, when it means getting to see their favorite scenes from the source material that were shot, but not included for the films’ theatrical run.
An extended version of Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will also be made available, on DVD and Blu-ray. The filmmaker – along with Hobbit movie trilogy co-writers/producers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens – have teased some of the scenes that will be added on, for those who are curious.
Here’s what the trio had to offer Empire, about what to expect from the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey:
“You are going to get some serious Dwarvish disrespect of the elves at Rivendell,” says Jackson…
“You are going to get more of Hobbiton,” says producer / co-writer Philippa Boyens. “We always wanted to wend our way through Hobbiton, but in the end Bilbo has to run out of the door.”
Scenes with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) going about his business-as-usual in Hobbiton were featured in the trailers for An Unexpected Journey, but those did not make the theatrical cut.
All things considered, the aforementioned Hobbiton scenes probably weren’t really necessary to establish that Bilbo starts out in An Unexpected Journey as a fussy homebody (who has abandoned any notion of an adventurous life). Nonetheless, it could be fun to see additional footage that better illustrates exactly what sort of Hobbit Bilbo was, prior to his grand adventure to the Lonely Mountain.
The same goes for the additional scenes that show the many Dwarves behaving like, well, Dwarves, and the possibility of moments featuring Lord Elrond (Hugo Weaving) doing his best to remain prim and proper around his rowdy guests.
We’ll get to see even more cultural-clashing between the Dwarves and Elves in the second Hobbit installment, The Desolation of Smaug, judging by the emphasis on the Mirkwood Elves – led by King Thrandruil – and their encounter with Bilbo’s traveling party, in the film’s teaser trailer.
Speaking of which, Jackson also mentioned that certain additional scenes in the An Unexpected Journey extended edition will foreshadow and/or loosely tie into the developments that transpire in The Desolation of Smaug:
“We are putting things in the extended cut that are going to play straight into the second film,” explains Jackson, “like this character Girion, who is defending [the city of] Dale using black arrows against Smaug. And the black arrows play a part in an ongoing story, for they are the one thing that can pierce the dragon’s hide.”
“There are also issues with [king of the elves] Thranduil (Lee Pace),” Jackson adds. “We get some of the reason why he and the dwarves had a falling out – to do with these white gems…”
Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition is more atmospheric in design than its theatrical counterpart, which is some ways is more appropriate (given the nature of Tolkien’s source material).
By comparison, the theatrical cut of An Unexpected Journey felt more like a proper Tolkien novel unfolding in movie form, despite also being a bit over-stuffed. As such, it will be interesting to see how the film plays out when the above-mentioned additional material has been spliced into the mix.
For even more on the An Unexpected Journey extended edition, check out the latest issue of Empire Magazine.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. The extended edition of the film will be made available in those formats about a month before The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theaters this December.