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In a new interview with Empire Magazine, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit (trilogy!) director Peter Jackson reveals that Part 1 of the latter, An Unexpected Journey, will be his shortest J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation yet.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than ‘Fellowship’ was,” said Jackson to Empire about The Hobbit running time. “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.”

The running time line up is as follows:

- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: 178 minutes
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: 179 minutes
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: 201 minutes
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 160 minutes

A surprise? Probably not. Looking at The Hobbit book, seen below stacked up against the Lord of the Rings trilogy, makes it clear the amount of content Jackson had to work with:

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings book comparisons

What’s even more shocking is that he’s turning the single Hobbit book into three films. He said he’ll be pulling from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings appendices to fill out the story.

An Unexpected Journey will be in theaters December 14. Earlier today we learned that the film is teaming up with Denny’s restaurants to create a special Middle-earth menu for those who wish to dwell, or eat, in the magical land.

Thanks, Zap2It.

  • charlton

    By content alone I think it would have to be shorter,but no grander a spectacle.

  • sammylovegood

    Are those your books?? they look awesome?!

  • Jacob

    To be honest, that sort of disappoints me. Not because it’s shorter, but because it’s really frickin’ long by movie standards and this is only Part 1/3 of a very short book. This makes me think they’re going to be taking a lot of stuff out of nowhere and adding it in, which is something none of the fans wanted in the first place.

    • Meur123

      If there’s anybody I trust it’s Peter Jackson.

    • CliveRogan

      It does look a bit ridiculous when laid out like this, but while The Hobbit is a short book, but it’s incredible dense and in my opinion fairly rushed. The Battle of the Five Armies is complex enough to merit a film of its own, and it seems like it’s getting one.

      There are worries though. Gollum only appears in one chapter and I don’t see how Jackson wouldn’t be tempted to extend his role through the whole trilogy somehow.

    • isenhobbitz

      I wasn’t sure either, but then I started listening to a podcast where Tolkien nerds place bets on what will appear in the movies (Riddle in the Dark if interested) and after listening to several episodes I’ve got to admit that Jackson has a lot to work with if he adds from the LOTR appendices. Granted, it could still go very wrong, but I imagine Jackson had to really impress his superiors for them to let this happen.

  • http://twitter.com/TokoMasho Matthew Potter

    I can’t wait for this film (and the other two)! I know that a lot of people don’t like that they’re splitting it into three parts, but I definitely think they’re still going to be great! Especially with the added material from the Appendices, Silmarilion, and (maybe?)Unfinished Tales, Peter Jackson is definitely the one to pull it off.

  • thatguy

    i agree with jacob i just got done with it and it is very short

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