Empire sat down with director Peter Jackson to talk about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. One of the things he revealed to them was the running time for the first film and the magazine also revealed all of the covers for their December issue, one cover is pictured below.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than Fellowship was,” said 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.”
That time also doesn’t include the ending credits which haven’t been added yet, plus some effects shots remain to be finalized which could alter the time once again.
The film follows the titular hobbit, 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 Oakenshield. 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.
Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and many, many more star in the December 14 release.