J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is about 300 pages long. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit isn’t part of a trilogy. That didn’t stop Peter Jackson from turning the single book into three long films that included plenty of extras not in the book. As a fan of most things Middle-earth, I was excited to see more of Tolkien’s work on the big screen but also dismayed by how the tone of the adaptation wasn’t quite right and the action sequences that dragged on and on. The person behind a new cut of The Hobbit trilogy felt similarly and took the time to edit over 9 hours of footage into a single film that clocks in at 4 hours and 21 minutes. Give this person treasure from Smaug’s hoard!
The author of The Hobbit recut goes by Tolkien Editor and talks about being frustrated that the narrative got away from focusing on the hobbit of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. He was gone for large swaths of the second and third films, and his journey is at the heart of the story. In his cut, Tolkien Editor redirected the plot to center on Bilbo and excised unnecessary diversions and subplots. For example, Tolkien Editor pared down the barrel scene that seems like it was only inserted as a template for a future theme park ride – not that I have feelings about it.
Other cuts include the whole investigation of Dol Guldur, Tauriel and the weird love triangle with Legolas and Kili, Bard’s imprisonment, and the prologue with Old Bilbo. Overall, it sounds like a movie I want to watch rather than one I feel obligated to watch (which is what happened with The Battle of The Five Armies).
Tolkien Editor hasn’t uploaded the recut to YouTube, but it is available for download. Learn how at Tolkien Editor’s site; you can read more about the changes there, too.
Do you think Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit went on too long? What would you change about the trilogy? Let us know in the comments.