Unexpected’s Extended Cut Expected

The NZ distributor has yet to confirm it but expect the extended Blu-ray edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to go on sale here around the same time as in the US.

The new cut will have 13 minutes of extra footage and — the real reason for upgrading — nine hours of bonus content.

The latter will include an audio commentary with Peter Jackson and co-producer-screenwriter Philippa Boyens and The Appendices, a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the trilogy.

It’s coming out in the US in October, a few weeks ahead of the sequel’s theatrical release, The Desolation of Smaug, on December 13.

Timing of the extended edition’s release won’t surprise anyone who forked out for the first in The Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD, The Fellowship of the Ring, only to be tempted by an extended edition with loads more extras on the eve of The Two Towers’ theatrical release.

Jackson was one of the first filmmakers to seize on DVD’s promotional potential for heightening interest in the roll-out of further titles in a franchise.

Said Jackson in a statement: “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.”

Here’s the full list of extras:

  • The Filmmakers’ Commentary – Director/writer/producer Peter Jackson and writer/co-producer Philippa Boyens provide their perspective and stories on creating the first film.
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth – From Matamata to Queenstown, travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand, transformed by the filmmakers into Middle-Earth.
  • The Appendices Part 7: A Long-Expected Journey – A 14-part chronological history of the filming of 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, and the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects. Chapters include:
    • The Journey Back to Middle-Earth
    • Riddles in the Dark: Gollum’s Cave
    • An Unexpected Party: Bag End
    • Roast Mutton: Trollshaws Forest
    • Bastion of the Greenwood: Rhosgobel
    • A Short Rest: Rivendell and London
    • Over Hill: The Misty Mountains
    • Under Hill: Goblin Town
    • Out of the Frying Pan: The Forest Ledge
    • Return to Hobbiton: The Shire
    • The Epic of Scene 88: Strath Taieri
    • The Battle of Moria: Azanulbizar
    • Edge of the Wilderland: Pick-ups and the Carrock
    • Home Is Behind, the World Is Ahead
  • The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth – Another selection of documentaries and featurettes await, further detailing the development, design and production of An Unexpected Journey:
    • The Company of Thorin – Explores the characters and backgrounds of the five families of dwarves and the company of actors chosen to play Thorin’s company on the Quest of the Lonely Mountain. Chapters include:
      • Assembling the Dwarves
      • Thorin, Fili & Kili
      • Balin & Dwalin
      • Oin & Gloin
      • Dori, Nori & Ori
      • Bifur, Bofur & Bombur
    • Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member – A revealing look at the film’s charismatic and talented lead actor, Martin Freeman.
    • Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves – Reveals the journey and process of designing, conceptualizing and physically realizing the dwarves in The Hobbit.
    • The Peoples and Denizens of Middle-Earth – Focuses on the realization of new characters and creatures encountered in the first film, from casting to characterization to physical and digital design. Chapters include:
      • The Stone Trolls
      • Radagast the Brown
      • Goblins
      • Azog the Defiler
    • Realms of the Third Age: From Bag End to Goblin Town – Follows the creation of the Middle-Earth locations from conceptual design to set and prop building to fully digital realities. Realms explored include:
      • Hobbiton
      • Rhosgobel
      • The Misty Mountains
      • Goblin Town
    • The Songs of The Hobbit – A look at the realization of Tolkien’s songs in An Unexpected Journey.
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