What makes a Tolkien fan happy? A number of things, I guess. A LOTR movie trilogy, for example. Or a second trilogy telling the tale of The Hobbit on screen. But what makes a Tolkien fan really, really ecstatic? Extended editions of those same movies. Nothing beats that.
13 minutes of additional footage? Check. Bonus material, such as 'making of' documentaries and concept art slides? Check. A cool box design? Double check.
Now, just a few months before The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters, we can reembark on an Unexpected Journey by getting the Extended Edition of the first installment in the Hobbit trilogy. Director had this to say in a related press release:
I'm thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features. It's exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of 'An Unexpected Journey' to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.
Good news for those fans everyone's mentioning: the bonus material spans nearly 9 hours. That's almost double the running time of the movie!*
Some features included in this 5-disc deluxe set are:
Commentary with Peter Jackson (director/producer/screenwriter and , co-Producer/screenwriter
'The Appendices:' a multi-part chronological history of the filming of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey', covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, the work done on-set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
'New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth:' No description was provided in the press release, but it seems pretty safe to assume that it's a documetary featurette.
The digital download of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be available from October 22nd (only a week left for that!), while the hard version (Blu-Ray 3D, DVD) coming out on November 5th in the United States (November 11th in the UK).
Excited? Your wait is almost over, peoples of Middle-earth.
* Note: OK, maybe that statement was a wee bit snarky and/or hyperbolic.