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Even those who loved Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey after screening it over the weekend had to admit that the 169-minute run time was too long. It’s not like Jackson doesn’t have two additional movies on the horizon in which to fit some of these scenes. Couldn’t he have spread some of this footage into The Desolation of Smaug, which is due in theaters next year?
Surprisingly, there are chunks of footage Jackson reportedly planned to include in An Unexpected Journey, but left on the cutting-room floor as he raced to get the film into 3D and IMAX theaters. And as can usually be the case nowadays – when trailers and clips live on forever via the Internet – fans can single out shots that they thought they’d see in the final cut but didn’t. One user posted this montage on Imgur. Look what didn’t make the cut:
Gandalf wants to use that sword. What happened? Well, Jackson has a habit of filming a ton of footage for these Tolkien adaptations, and often cuts multiple versions in the years following their actual release. The three Lord of the Rings movies each have extended cuts, and we’re 100% confident that there will be a longer cut of The Hobbit, possibly by the time it hits DVD. (That’s a whole ‘nother ball-of-wax, as Warner Bros. will have to handle the 3D and HFR issue with their home-video release. How will they manage that? I can’t wait to find out.)
These shots also remind me how frustrating it must be for Jackson’s Rings fans, because they won’t ever really have the complete vision of the director’s return trip to Middle Earth until the three movies have been released … and possibly not even then. Can you tell where these scenes are from? And do you think The Hobbit needed to be shorter, or longer?