It’s almost here! Before we get to The Desolation of Smaug, we can start that Unexpected Journey all over again with the Extended Edition of the first Hobbit movie! The digital download of the movie will be available October 22nd – that’s just next week! – with the Blu-ray 3D and DVD versions to follow on November 5th in the US, November 11th in the UK.
The word from the official press release is that this extended version ‘Features a 13-Minute Longer Cut and Nearly Nine Hours of New Special Features.’ The digital download will be available exclusively on iTunes from 22nd October, before being made widely available on 4th November.
The press release quotes Peter Jackson:
“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,” said Jackson. “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 what we can expect in those nearly nine hours of special features:
• Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
• The Appendices – A multi-part chronological history of the filming of The Hobbit: 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, the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth [A documentary film we assume, though the press release doesn’t say anything else about this feature.]
Once the Extended Edition is available in ‘hard copy’ in November, you’ll be able to choose from a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition, or a 5-disc DVD set. The Blu-ray 3D and DVD both include UltraViolet versions of the movie, allowing download and instant streaming.
As soon as we have more details to bring you about the Extended Edition – for example, any different sets or packaging, and any international variations – we will of course bring you that news! Meanwhile, just over a week and we can see those extended scenes… Let the countdown begin!