Despite adding a third Hobbit film late in the production process, director Peter Jackson revealed today that there’s still plenty of material to be included with An Unexpected Journey’s Extended Edition.

Jackson hosted a Q&A following a screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at Ain’t It Cool News’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon 14 in Austin, Texas today. Reports indicate that the director confirmed 20 – 25 minutes of additional footage with the Extended Edition. With the theatrical version clocking in at 2 hours, 40 minutes, that means Extended Edition will run at least 3 hours.

Warner Bros. first confirmed An Unexpected Journey’s Extended Edition this past October, but then backtracked on the initial press release which noted various home releases coming in 2013.

It’s no secret that Jackson and his team have had to dream up a lot of extra material for The Hobbit film trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit novel is smaller than even the three Lord of the Rings books. Jackson has pulled from the Lord of the Rings appendices for plot lines, and reviews for An Unexpected Journey indicate that there are many sub-stories that both add and detract from the overall film.

We’re impressed that despite all of this, An Unexpected Journey’s Extended Edition will have so much extra footage. We have to think that Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again’s Extended Editions will also include a similar amount of additional material. Speaking of those two films, see the first photo released from each here and here respectively.

Will you pick up An Unexpected Journey’s Extended Edition next year?

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