There was a time when The Lord of the Rings was as synonymous with Christmas as the Lord's birthday boy. A film adaptation of each book was released once a year for three Christmases. There was a problem, though. They weren't long enough.
To remedy, people gave their loved ones extended editions - four disc sets - where the snappy theatrical releases were allowed to breathe. The trilogy went from 558 minutes to 683, from 683 to 726. All of that stuff you enjoyed in the originals, now there was more of it. More trees walking. More Saruman being white. More oddly sexual scenes between Frodo and Sam.
But The Hobbit is such a tiny book. A pamphlet, some said. The film would essentially be a Christmas film, just as those were before it. And Christmas is a time for excess. Dinners are seven course events, houses camouflaged in lights; it's no mistake that »
- Chris Villeneuve
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