There's now a three-hour version of the Hobbit trilogy

Peter Jackson's three Hobbit films, the last of which came out last Christmas, were a commercial success, but did not garner the same critical acclaim that met his Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade earlier.

One criticism levelled at the films was how a book of only around 300 pages could be turned into almost eight hours of cinema time.

But now professional video editor David Killstein claims to have hacked the three films down to a running time of just three hours.

"After about 312 new edits and cuts and almost five 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, 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)," he wrote on his website.

Examples of things that are cut from this streamlined version include:

  • The romance between Tauriel the elf (not in the book) and Kili the dwarf
  • Gandalf's investigations into and confrontation with the Necromancer
  • Almost all appearances of the orcs until the climactic battle
  • Ian Holm's scene-setting... scene
  • Any foreshadowing of Bilbo's ring being evil
  • The battle between the dwarves and Smaug at the end of the second film (yes, including the giant dwarf made out of molten gold)

Examples of things that are kept in their entirety:

  • Gollum's scene
  • Bilbo's chats with Smaug
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