Whatever your feelings are about part one of Peter Jackson's three-film long adaptation of The Hobbit, it's hard to deny that the film already feels like one of his Lord of the Rings Extended Editions. The first five or six hours of the movie in particular feel like an endless parade of narrative digressions keeping the central story from ever taking off.
But we always knew there'd be an actual extended edition to go with the already bloated film, and today Empire has some clues from Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens as to what we can expect when the probably massive DVD set hits later this year:
"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."
"You are going to get more Goblin Town, and the Great Goblin singing his song," adds Fran Walsh, Jackson's other half and fellow screenwriter. "It is a great song, but it was just another delay in terms of moving the story along."
"A number one hit from the Goblin King," laughs Jackson. "Barry Humphries is going to rise up the charts."
"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..."
Having literally just rewatched the film last night, I say bring it on. The exessive length of Peter Jackson's version of The Hobbit plays like a great band's b-side collection and is much more forgivable when you're at home and can pause it for bathroom breaks. It's also very clear that Jackson's going for something quite a bit different than a straight adaptation of Tolkien's one book.
That being said, I probably won't watch this Extended Edition for a very long time, if I ever watch it at all. One consequence of the casual storytelling Jackson utilizes here is that there's much less of a rush to find out what happens next.