The new edition of Empire went on sale today, and with it some massive features on Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth. I won’t spoil any of those features for you here, but there was a significant piece of news revealed by Jackson himself about the films running time. Here is what the director said:
“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than Fellowship was,” explains Jackson. “So it’s going to be officially our shortest Middle-earth yet. I mean, Fellowship was just under three hours and this is about 2 hours 40 minutes at the moment.”
So, the shortest film about Middle Earth yet eh? I wonder how long the film would have been if The Hobbit had not be turned into a trilogy? However, with the film running for two hours and forty minutes, I can only presume the already talked about extended editions for the DVD & Blu-ray release will definitely pass the three hour mark. If all the Hobbit films run for just under three hours, that is still an awful lot of film to get out of just one book. Jackson must have really gone into detail here, and as reported before, expanded many characters parts that were simply mentioned in passing in the book.
In other Hobbit news, it would appear that not only is Jackson setting a new standard for visuals with his 48fps design (instead of the traditional 24fps), but also the sound design for the film is set to trial a new technology. Dolby Atmos, which is said as being the biggest advancement in sound technology since Dolby Surround, is a new sound system which incorporates two extra arrays of overhead speakers. Here is the description:
“The most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound is here. Dolby® Atmos delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience. Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby® Atmos represents a dynamic shift in audio, reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for sound now and well into the future”
Dolby Laboratories Inc and Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production announced yesterday that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos.
“(Jackson) felt it was going to make a big difference in how he tells stories,” said Stuart Bowling, Dolby’s senior technical marketing manager. “He doesn’t want people to just go and observe his movies. He wants you to feel like you’re part of the experience of the stories that’s he’s trying to tell on the screen and allow you to be part of Middle-earth.”
“Dolby Atmos is fantastic from a sound quality position,” said John Neill, head of sound at Park Road Post Production. “We can now hear full range surround speakers, meaning that when we pan from the front to surround, the sound does not change in quality. The overhead speakers give us the opportunity to place the theatre patron really in the location.”
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open on December 14th, 2012.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will open December 13th, 2013.
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again will open July 18th, 2014.
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Elijah Wood, Christopher Lee, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom,Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Evangeline Lilly,Ian Holm, Billy Connolly and James Nesbitt.
“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
For more on The Hobbit, click here
(Follow me on Twitter)