By Ed Sum
The dragon Smaug must be amused at the fact that, like clock-work, an extended version of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is getting an extended cut. The coffers at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment may well get fatter than the wurm’s very own if fans are being enticed to buy this movie again. But for those who have been waiting for a better release, this may be it. Or they can hold out until all three films have been released to theaters. After that, a penultimate edition may appear.
When considering the third film has wrapped up shooting and there will be an approximate three-month wait, there may be room for Jackson to sneak some material from the third film into this release.
Fans can only hope, and this guess is merely hypothetical. A portion of the official press release follows:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set ($54.98 SRP) that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition; a 3-disc Blu-ray ($35.99) and a 5-disc DVD ($34.99) The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD all include UltraVioletTM which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the Extended Edition in high-definition to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*
The nearly nine hours of new special features boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, and “The Appendices,” a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy. Complete special feature details are provided below.