A Japanese website has just released four extended behind-the-scenes that feature never-before-seen footage and cool background information about Beorn, the Wargs of Wilderland, Lake-town and the Spiders of Mirkwood.
They don’t seem to be from the Theatrical Edition, and seem to be part of a “making-of” DVD/Blu-ray bundle that’s about to be released in Japan.
Check them out below (the first two are on this page, the second two are on page two). Note: if the embedded links below happen to go down, you can still find the originals here.
Included is b-roll footage of the chopping wood scene. We first (now somewhat infamously) saw a picture of that as a thumbnail on a German calendar last year. We also get hints of a scene with Beorn, Bilbo and Gandalf: introductions, perhaps. Lots of background on how they eventually settled on Beorn’s bear-form, too, including some background from John Howe.
There’s not much to celebrate in Lake-town. you just survive. It’s a cold place in the middle of a lake. People are living hand-to-mouth, basically.
Lots of background on why Lake-town faded glory (Jackson describes it as “a Dickensian slum”), plus insights into what drives Bard, The Master and his unctuous and obsequious yes-man, Alfrid. There’s a nice shot of Martin Freeman wearing the cloak and helmet of Lake-town guards, too. A cameo?