Hello everyone, this is my first post on these boards but I have been following this site for a while now.
I have begun working on a "purist" version of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, with the goal of creating a new version that is as faithful to the original book as possible. I have read about a number of other editors making their own versions and I'm sure my edit will be one of several floating around by the time the 3rd film is on video. However, many of the versions being worked on now still plan to include scenes/characters/elements that were not in the book. I'm going to be a bit more judicious with what stays in!
Right now I am planning to compress the trilogy into ONE MOVIE. I am sure that this will make for a long film, but let's not forget that Return of the King Extended Edition was 240 minutes long! My target running time is 200 minutes for JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit (that's the new version title I'm going with).
Anyways, I'm already 90% finished with An Unexpected Journey. Working off a nice Bluray rip with 5.1 audio. The original 170-minute long film has been cut down to about 95 minutes, and that number could change depending on how the other two films cut with this one. After seeing Desolation of Smaug in theaters, I am confident that I can get that film down to an hour. Here are a few things I have changed from An Unexpected Journey:
-No Dale/Erebor prologue
-Bilbo's opening lines remain, but Frodo is removed
-Some dwarf silliness is gone from the Bag End sequence (just a few shots)
-No Radagast or Dol Guldur scenes
-Azanulbizar flashback remains for now, it gives Thorin much-needed depth
-Azog for the most part is gone
-Troll scene is cut down, some silliness is removed
-Daylight Orc chase is gone
-No White Council/Galadriel/Saruman
-Stone Giants stays for now, I may remove it for time later
-All scenes with Gollum are untouched!
-Goblintown escape is cut down drastically, removed CGI silliness
-I have chosen to remove the tree fight/eagle rescue because the scene is too drawn out and Jackson obviously beefed it up late in production in order to have some sort of action climax.
-Film ends with Bilbo meeting back up with the dwarves outside Goblintown, and he still gives his nice little speech. Orcs suddenly show up and the party begins to run...however the beginning of the chase will hopefully segue into the beginning of Desolation of Smaug where they are chased into Beorn's house.
-PLANNED EDITS for Desolation of Smaug:
-No prologue at the Prancing Pony
-No Dol Guldur/Necromancer subplot
-I will TRY to cut Legolas/Tauriel down but they are fairly integrated into the plot now. Same goes for the Kili romance subplot.
-Barrel chase is too cartoonish, I'll try cutting that down
-Laketown scenes will be shortened
-Smaug playing hide and seek with the dwarves is a bit long
-The whole furnace stoking/molten gold statue is silly, that will go away
-Many more cuts to come, I am sure!
If any of you have ideas/comments/questions, I will happily field them!