Now There's A Three-Hour Cut Of The Hobbit Trilogy

Now There's A Three-Hour Cut Of The Hobbit Trilogy

Just in case a four-hour version of an eight-hour trilogy was still too long for you, professional video editor David Killstein has now gone and made an even more drastic cut of Peter Jackson's overblown Hobbit adaptation.

I sat down and watched the first fan cut from earlier in the week, and it was...OK. Still felt a bit off in places, and a bit long-in-the-tooth in others, so I'm more excited to watch this one, which isn't just more ruthless, but feels smarter with its decisions as well (the video quality from the first two films also appears to be much better).

"After about 312 new edits and cuts and almost 5 hours removed from the trilogy, this single film combines the three Peter Jackson movies into one immense epic that accurately tells the story of Bilbo", Killstein, aka FunnyPuzzle, writes, "while maintaining what new ideas and battles have been implanted in Jackson's retelling (such as the Battle of the Five Armies containing orcs instead of goblins)."

"Scenes aren't always simply removed, sometimes they are repositioned or sometimes specific elements are taken out or added in for coherency or pacing".

Below is an example of the work done, in which a 33-minute scene is trimmed to five:

In addition to "dozens" of other minor tweaks, here's a list of the major changes that have been made:

  • Removed all of Elf-Dwarf Love Triangle Plot
  • Removed all of Gandalf's necromancer adventures
  • Removed most of orc scenes/battles/mentions in first 2/3's of the film (including removing frames with orcs from the post-goblin escape scene at the end of "Unexpected Journey")
  • Removed Bilbo killing a wolf - the first thing he kills is the spider in Mirkwood forest, giving the sword the name "Sting"
  • Removed all of (elder) Bilbo's introduction to the lore
  • Removed all of the heavy foreshadowing for LOTR and the evil of the ring - kept to the spirit of the book, it was a playful invisibility ring!
  • Added a deleted scene of the Shire villagers as an intro to the film
  • Reduced much of the Dwarves' dinner at Bilbo's
  • Created faster transition to Bilbo getting out of the house
  • Reduced Rivendell
  • Reduced Stone Giant scene
  • Reduced goblin scene, re-ordered dialogue to mirror book interactions between Thorin & Goblin King
  • Kept Gollum scene entirely intact - no cutting between that and the goblin lair, although shortened as well as removed Gollum beating the corpse in the beginning
  • Created voice-over transition into Beorn scene at the beginning of "Desolation of Smaug"
  • Reduced Mirkwood forest & Woodland Realm capture scenes
  • Heavily reduced Laketown capture (all of Laketown is about 10 minutes total now)
  • Removed Smaug battle scene with dwarves in the mines (kept Bilbo's conversation with Smaug, the battle was outrageously cartoonish and long)
  • Removed Bard using his son as a bow, the shots dance around it and the scene is intact
  • Rearranged much of Battle of Five Armies for coherency of Bilbo concealing and giving away the Arkenstone without the need for so many silly slow-motion Thorin bits
  • Removed many elements of the Battle of Five Armies that contained too much CGI monsters or silly battle actions (like repeated head-butting)
  • Reduced and rearranged the battle to get to Thorin quicker
  • Removed elves from the final fight scene (Kili fights the orc in order to protect Bilbo instead of his elf love interest)
  • Removed final flash-forward scene, the film ends with Bilbo finally coming home

You can read more about it at David's site for the cut.

UPDATE - And here's another one, from a different editor. At this rate, we'll be down to a one-hour version by the end of the month.


    Yes, ok, it's not exactly like the book, we get it. So what? Name me one movie or TV adaption that was exactly like the book.

    I actually enjoyed the Hobbit movies, and I'm planning on getting the extended editions of them all too, to make it even longer.

      Extended edi... you mean there's more pointless shit, beyond what they shoved in so suckers would have to buy 3 movie tickets?

      This goddamn trend of squeezing adaptions dry to split them up need to die. Painfully. "Butter scraped over too much bread" indeed, Bilbo.

        I know not how you could have been downvoted. You are spot on.

        You enjoy the film your way, WhitePointer can enjoy the film his/her way.

          Well, WhitePointer can... I think I'll watch Goodfellas instead.

            I really can't argue with you there. Goodfellas is a far superior film.

      I agree.

      I hadn't read the book when I watched the first two movies, and so I got to enjoy what were, in my opinion, 2 good movies. I'd definitely say that the Lord of the Rings was better, but the first two Hobbit movies by themselves were good movies (I haven't seen 3, so I'll reserve judgement).

      I've now read half of the book, and could the movies have been more like the book? I guess. I only ever watched them in the cinema, but the parts that were based on the book were good.

      People also forget that some sub-plots (e.g. Gandalf and the Necromancer) were required for TLOTR. Just because the book left them out doesn't mean it didn't happen, and it can be explored by other mediums (e.g. movies).

        As others have said, it's the parts NOT based on the book that are godawful. And there's way too much of it. Tauriel? Useless, the preempting of Sauron through Radagast's involvement and the council involving Galadriel, Saruman and Elrond (also useless).

        The subplot of the Necromancer was 'essential' for LOTR in that Sauron was building his power and army at this time. I'd argue that it in no way adds anything to any of the characters in LOTR.

        It didn't happen though. In any books. Ever.

          It's basically stated that Gandalf heads off to deal with the Darkness though. We know that happens. Not explicitly in the books, but it happens.

          You haven't read Unfinished Tales, have you?

            Man. I couldn't even get through the Silmarillion, if I have to be honest.

              The whole Gandalf vs the Necromancer IS in there. It's just buried in the backstory of Unfinished Tales. And yes ... the Silmarillion is hard to get through, but it's a rewarding read in the end. It's just stodgey ..... like wading through porridge.

              Last edited 28/01/15 4:14 pm

        Expanding the Necromancer plot as much as they did just leaves the characters looking stupid, though. "Oh shit, Sauron's still alive! Meh. Let's not worry about it for 60 years..."

        I would have had no problem with Legolas getting written in, for a cameo at Mirkwood. But they had fangirls to appease, so Orlando's all over the movies to play Mario on the falling bridge and kill-steal the Orc captain from Beorn; who got bumped down to a cameo instead. Because why bother using the extra movie to give the Dwarves character development, when you can shoe-horn in superfluous Elf drama instead?

        Last edited 26/01/15 5:32 pm

          The necromancer thing happens in the book as well though. So if anything, Book Gandalf is just as silly as movie Gandalf.

          I hadn't seen TLOTR when I saw the first two hobbits either, so I had no idea who Legolas was, but he did seem a litle shoehorned in. And he appeared to be a jerk.

            The necromancer/Sauron connection came much later, though; the necromancer was just some sorcerer plot-device, to get Gandalf out of the picture, to explain why he can't just use his magic to solve all their problems. (At least for me, I read my grandfather's old edition of The Hobbit, so it didn't have the later retcon edits.) I don't remember the Elves and Saruman being there, either.

              Your grandfather's older version may have been first edition then, everything past the second edition was retconned to fit into TLOTR, which included Gollum's ring taking a much darker tone and I guess the Necromancer/Sauron connection. I'm not too sure on that though.

              The White Council is mentioned in TLOTR, so we know Saruman and Gandalf met up to discuss the Necromancer. That part makes sense.

              The other subplots, not so much.

                It all just comes with a mythology buff inventing a world over 25 years - the early bits don't gel by the time he was done.

          "Oh shit, Sauron's still alive! Meh. Let's not worry about it for 60 years"

          The movie's are much more realistic about pacing then the books. In fact in LotR's (the original book) it's many months between Gandalf finding out the truth about the ring and Frodo setting off. Many events in the books in regards to timelines are basically like "oh well this thing could destroy the world...just whenever you're ready if you could do something about that no rush, have a party first if you'd like".

      I haven't seen the final movie yet but the problem I had with the first 2 wasn't that it was different from the book or even that it was too long. The problem I had was there was just so much padding that added nothing to the film.
      Thinks like the orcs chasing the rabbit sled across the hills while the dwarves sneak past. Could have been done as a 1 minute scene. Also the escape from the goblin cave, there is time for a pee break while they have repetitive combat.

      The other big problem the films face is they can't decide if they are trying to tell Bilbo's story as per the book, or Thorins story.

        Re the confusing focus between Bilbo and Thorin. This was SO evident to me. Both Armitage and Freeman do an amazing job but Thorin is just too much of an asshole to focus on while the times Bilbo fills the screen are far more endearing. During the massive chunks of the films where Bilbo is absent the films really suffer.

        And it's a shame because Bilbo goes on such a heartwarming arc in the book and film, going from a real homebody to a reckless adventuring scallywag while Thorin's arc is him going from being a jerk to being more of a jerk. Why Bilbo was neglected for painfully large sections of the films is beyond me.

        And don't get me started on immersion-breaking action and characters either not making any sense or being completely undeveloped.

      If it's possible to cut three very long movies into a single 3 hour movie and still have a coherent plot, then the director did something very wrong.

      That said, I prefer the extended editions over the theatrical releases, mostly because the scenes that explain what's going on behind the scenes got removed to make room for ridiculous CGI battle scenes, etc. They make for a much more coherent narrative.

      If I had the time, motivation and skill, I'd probably do my own cut, retaining the White Council subplot but cutting it down to two movies, like the Hobbit was originally meant to be.

      I enjoyed them, until I saw the third movie. Should of been 30-45 mins MAX. Hobbit should of been three shorter movies, or just two movies.

        Well it was originally written to be two movies so you might be on to something. ;) I liked the third movie though, as a fan of the book. The third act is my favourite part of the book so I loved that they nailed the "Thorin on the wall" scenes, as well as the whole battle of the five armies thing, even though there was a bit of fluff. Although it would have just completely sucked to film it like in the book. Imagine a movie where there's a battle about to happen then one of the characters falls unconscious, cut to next scene: "we won bilbo" end credits roll.

          Haha, I hadn't read it in a good 15 year, but I was pretty sure that was what happened. Bilbo was knocked out, then woke up.

    Watching The Hobbit trilogy was like listening to my partner tell me story -
    Guess what happened to, Helen? You remember, Helen, the one we me at Ted's party, because, he threw it in order to hopefully pick-up, Jill - Bill's niece. Bill's got cancer now.

    A three hour cut? That's three hours too long if you ask me, amirite? Eh? EH!?! Ah ha ha.

    (Seriously though, I love all three of these movies.)

    Last edited 26/01/15 2:14 pm

    Someone should just cut the trailers together and make that the official fan edit.

    That scene looked great, but the obvious cuts in the music were harsh and noticeable.

    I was a huge fan of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings. I was always hungry for any bit of extra content, but with the Hobbit I would really appreciate if Jackson released Reduced Editions.

      LotR were fucking incredible though. That's the thing! They were three movies based on three books. Hobbit though? Three movies based on one book smaller than any of the three aforementioned books. It's ridiculous and tiresome.

        I don't think the movies were better or worse because of the source material. Sometimes a whole TV series is based on a single book but stretched right out and it's incredible.

        I don't think The Hobbit was a good book, nor was I blown away by Lord of the Rings when I read them. I think the Hobbit films are lacking purely because of film making reasons. I think 3 movies based on the one book could have been great.

        I remember seeing the first hobbit film and thinking that it felt like the film didn't have a director. I later found out that directors were swapped during production and it three the whole thing into chaos and the schedule became gruelling. The result is some incredible looking scenes and moments and sets that just don't come together to tell a great story or form a cohesive experience. It's a mess!

        LOTR was too condensed, it should of been four movies. Remember, it was originally four books, with the smaller two combined into one larger book later on.


          The Lord of the Rings is 6 books, published in 3 volumes, to form 1 overarching story.

    Uhh, the ring was only explicity a "playfull inivsibility ring" in the prints made before LotR was published. So this strikes me as someone who is purist to a point where they are being disrespectful to the overall work.

    Thank god - cut out the crap and just leave the good stuff in.

    Anyone know which of the two 3 hour edits (both named the same!) is better?

    Last edited 26/01/15 11:41 pm

      Not sure, I plan on watching a few of the edits to see if they're actually an improvement. I've also just recently DLed "The Phantom Edit" - Star Wars 1 rehashed and I want to see if it lives up to its expectations..

    Goblin is slang for Orc, or an english translation, it's a bit confusing. But they're definitely the same thing.

      Not as far as Tolkien's concerned.

        In Tolkien's mythology, Goblins are a type of Orc. They're just called Goblins in The Hobbit to fit in with the fairy-tale style of the novel.

        Of course the goblins were orcs. The only reason at all to cast doubt on this is that Tolkien said he called them goblins in The Hobbit because he was aiming at a younger audience at the time, but later he stated that they are orcs. Some people suggest that the term goblin specifically refers to a sub race of orcs that inhabit the misty mountains.

    Just finished the 3rd one the other night, I kinda feel violated.

    felt like 95% of the movie was in CGI absolutely everything looked like CGI and animations, even character armour and stuff was all CGI, god damn that was bad..

    To me this five minute clip does more to strengthen the original cut then anything. It's an absolute joke. REALLY? Like the movie should have just briefly mentioned that the dude was a bear and somehow they ended up in his house. It's laughable. Especially the last minute of this cut it's like he's suggesting that Peter Jackson should have had bits that are essentially "missing reel". Cut to Bilbo talking to Frodo: "And then a bunch of stuff happened that I don't have time to tell you but let's just say I ended up in the cave of a dragon. Oh I also got a ring along the way but we don't have time for that now."

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