After more than two years of work, I am very excited to have completed the final version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, a massive re-edit of Peter Jackson’s massive trilogy. I won’t bore you with a specific cutlist here…if you want to read that you can visit my webpage for the details. Like many others, I wanted to see a version of The Hobbit that was closer to the spirit of Tolkien’s book. This is that film.
Many of you probably saw or heard of “The Tolkien Edit” when it was released last year. That was not my fan edit. It was hastily assembled and had very poor audio/visual quality, especially since the editor used a pirated DVD screener copy of Battle of Five Armies as his source. A guy named David Killstein released his own edit shortly after that, called “There and Back Again.” It had better editing, but the technical quality was still poor. Regardless, both of these edits grabbed a lot of attention because they were the first Hobbit fan edits out of the gate, and it showed people that it was possible to cut a 9-hour trilogy in half (or more) and still make sense.
So if you liked those edits, you will LOVE this version. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been created using only the highest-quality media available- full HD Bluray and 5.1 surround sound. Working with 5.1 has given me far more options for audio editing than a simple stereo track. Here’s just a sample of some of the work I’ve done on the film.
- A 532 minute trilogy cut to a single 247 minute film
- Well over 600 actual edits and trims made
- An Intermission splits the film in half, at the exact point where Peter Jackson originally intended to split the Hobbit when it was still two films.
- Overall, the film remains focused on Bilbo and the dwarves.
- Unnecessary subplots, characters, and CGI silliness have been jettisoned. That means no Tauriel.
- Color corrected in several sequences to match LOTR’s visuals more.
- Numerous digital alterations, including a new opening title, gold coating removed from Smaug, Radagast erased from an eagle flyover shot, etc.
- Orc subtitles altered to explain plot adjustments
- Several unused music cues by Howard Shore have been re-inserted in key scenes, including the famous Misty Mountains theme that was abandoned after AUJ.
- Various scenes from the Extended Editions have also been added where needed. Yes, Thorin’s funeral is in here.
SO. If you’d like to watch this fan edit, I only ask that you legally own all three films in advance. It’s only fair to the copyright holders, regardless of how you feel about the original films.
Right now you can enjoy the HD digital copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but in the next week or so you will be able choose from DVD or Bluray ISO files. They will both be 2-disc sets with custom artwork (available for free on my site). They will feature 5.1 digital surround sound, interactive menus, the whole shebang. Eventually I plan to add subtitles in multiple languages…several people have volunteered to help translate already! Finally, I’ll include a side quest film called Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery on the special features. It’s an hour-long film that follows the Dol Guldur subplot and how it ties into the dwarves’ backstory. This subplot actually works a lot better when it’s not distracting from the main story of the Hobbit!
Phew, long post. I’ve said it many times since I began working on this edit, but buried somewhere underneath the uneven, bloated Hobbit trilogy is a truly great film. For me at least, I have finally found that film. Hopefully you’ll think so too!