Want to see what Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon face looks like? Good news! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) is available now to download on iTunes.
The digital edition of the elongated adventure contains 13 minutes of extra footage, not to mention all of the bonus features you can expect on the final discs – which are not out in the UK until Monday 11th November.
Yes, hot on the heels of Star Trek: Into Darkness, which included a director’s commentary as a digital exclusive, The Hobbit is going all out for its iTunes Extras.
How many extras? Almost nine hours, to be exact. Or, to put it in download terms, a whopping 17GB of bonus content.
So, what did you get in the iTunes Extended Edition of The Hobbit? Let’s take a look:
Remember The Appendices on the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings? They continue with Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth, an 8-part series that looks at Thorin’s company of dwarves, Howard Shore’s music, filming locations and more, and Part 7: The Chronicles of The Hobbit, a 14-step chronological history of the filming of An Unexpected Journey, covering everything from the pre-production to behind-the-scenes on-set to the post-production.
The best thing about that last bit? Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion capture sequences for Smaug the dragon, which seems him gyrating on a carpet with some ping pong balls glued to his face. (No doubt responsible for at least half of the film’s reported $500m budget.)
It looks like this:
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug face
(Screencap from iTunes Extras by Tolkeinerd)
“It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of An Unexpected Journey to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy,” director Peter Jackson said in an official statement announcing the Extended Edition.
It’s another big milestone for digital releases, highlighting the growing expectation for extras to be included with film downloads. Sitting next to those 17GB, any major release that doesn’t offer at least a trailer with its iTunes – or blinkbox – release will appear to be short-changing fans.
Does The Hobbit need to be any longer? No. But while its 48fps display is breaking new ground on the big screen, Peter Jackson’s epic is part of an equally big shift in the VOD market – a journey that, now, seems entirely expected.
Anyway, if you’ll please excuse us, we’re off to immerse ourselves in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug face.
Thanks to video on-demand, we can do that right away, three weeks ahead of the DVD release.
What iTunes Extras are included in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Edition?
The Appendices Part 7: The Chronicles of The Hobbit
INTRODUCTION BY PETER JACKSON
A LONG EXPECTED JOURNEY
THE JOURNEY BACK TO MIDDLE- EARTH
RIDDLES IN THE DARK
AN UNEXPECTED PARTY
BASTION OF THE GREENWOOD
A SHORT REST
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
RETURN TO HOBBITON
THE EPIC OF SCENE 88
THE BATTLE OF MORIA
EDGE OF THE WILDERLAND
HOME IS BEHIND, THE WORLD AHEAD
The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth
THE COMPANY OF THORIN
ASSEMBLING THE DWARVES
THORIN, FILI & KILI
BALIN & DWALIN
OIN & GLOIN
DORI, NORI & ORI
BIFUR, BOFUR & BOMBUR
MR. BAGGINS: THE 14TH MEMBER
DURIN’S FOLK: CREATING THE DWARVES
THE PEOPLES AND DENIZENS OF MIDDLE EARTH
THE STONE TROLLS
RADAGAST THE BROWN
AZOG THE DEFILERS
REALMS OF THE THIRD AGE
THE MISTY MOUNTAINS
THE SONGS OF THE HOBBIT
New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth