BlacKkKlansman actor Topher Grace, who has been known to dabble in fan edits, says he has recut the 434-minute Hobbit trilogy into a single two-hour movie. Following up on the success of his Lord of the Rings films, Peter Jackson took J.R.R. Tolkein’s relatively short Rings prequel The Hobbit and blew it up into three films, each clocking in at more than 140 minutes.
Given the hugeness of the Hobbit trilogy, which arguably could have easily been compressed into a single film, fans immediately began creating their own recuts that trimmed much of the fat from the movies and delivered a more concise and possibly more entertaining experience. Nowadays with professional-quality editing software becoming widely available, many fans have taken to creating such amateur recuts, sometimes with spectacular results. Some of these edits go on to become popular with other fans, while others like the recent “no women” recut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi spark controversy for their creators' highly questionable motives.
Though he’s best known for performing, Topher Grace also became a noted creator of fan edits when in 2012 he cut George Lucas’ maligned Star Wars prequel trilogy down to one movie clocking in at a mere 85 minutes. In a recent interview with IndieWire, Grace revealed that he has taken to the computer again to recut another arguably over-long trilogy, trimming Jackson’s three-movie Hobbit odyssey down to a relatively lean single 2-hour film. Grace said he thinks the trilogy was too long and believes the decision to break the story into three movies was motivated by money and not art. The trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion at the global box office.
Interestingly, Grace said he has no desire to become a professional editor but views his amateur video dabbling like "doing woodworking in my garage." Grace gets therapeutic value out of his fan edits, saying he used the Hobbit trimming process as a means of decompressing after the tough task of portraying former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Grace explained:
“I was so depressed. I was probably a terrible husband at the time. It was so disturbing to go home and turn on the news to see how his ideology was affecting us at the moment.”
Unfortunately for fans who might be dying to see Grace's trimmed-down version of The Hobbit, it seems highly unlikely that the film will ever become publicly available. For obvious legal reasons, Grace has never allowed his Star Wars prequel edit, wittily dubbed Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back, to become available either. However, there are plenty of other such fan edits out there for those who wish to track them down. And of course, given that pretty much anyone can obtain good editing software these days, fans can always try their own hands at turning directors' over-long trilogies into the single movies they probably always should have been.