Peter Jackson Talks THE HOBBIT Blu-ray/DVD, LORD OF THE RINGS 3D Conversion and Lackluster Blu-ray Set

     February 10, 2015

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In a recent interview, Peter Jackson spoke about special features for the eventual DVD/Blu-ray for The Hobbit, gave his thoughts on 3D conversion, how it should be applied to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and his disappointment with the Blu-rays of the films that were released a couple weeks ago.  Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, here’s what Jackson had to say regarding special features for The Hobbit DVD/Blu-ray:

“We’ve been filming DVD material for about a year. [Director] Guillermo [del Toro] has been doing location scouts and design work, with the DVD people following him around, so we’ve shot 20 or 30 hours of DVD material so far and we’re still a few months away from the first day of shooting.”

Hit the jump for more on Jackson’s Hobbit comments as well as what the director had to say about giving The Lord of the Rings the 3D treatment and how he sympathizes with fans over the recent Blu-ray release of the LOTR trilogy.

lord_of_the_rings_blu-ray.jpgA brief refresher Jackson’s Hobbit comments: Last week, Jackson said, he was, “optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we’d be shooting by. I’m not announcing it, though.”  It’s clear that Jackson can’t give a concrete date for filming because MGM’s financial mess is holding everything up (as is also the case with the James Bond franchise).  That’s why it’s “October, November” one day and “in a few months” the next.

Moving on to his thoughts on 3D conversion, here’s what Jackson said:

If you do [3D conversion] quickly, fast and cheap, and it’s not going to turn out well. If we were going to convert LOTR, I’d want to do it properly, which would be a very long, time-consuming, and expensive process.

That’s an encouraging statement, although it may bum out those who want to take a 3D trip to Middle-Earth in the near future.  To those people I’d say that it’s better to be patient than to shell out extra cash for an ugly transfer.

And speaking of paying extra money for disappointment, Jackson sympathizes that the recent Blu-ray set of The Lord of the Rings was a letdown:

I agree with the fans. I was heavily involved in the DVD process when the films were being released through New Line, but now that Warner Brothers has taken control over the releasing of the films, they just tell me what they’re doing and don’t involve me in the process. [With New Line,] the one thing we never did with the fans was make them feel cheated. Back in the original release, we always put extra material in, extra documentaries – a lot of added value. I so totally understand why the fans would be upset; I don’t disagree with them.

For those who don’t know, while the picture quality of the trilogy has improved (although it’s not eye-popping), Warner Bros. just carried over the special features from the original theatrical version DVDs and didn’t add anything new (unless you count digital copies as something new).  I don’t mind separate theatrical and extended version releases, but the rehashed special features seemed like an excuse to inflate the price.

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