Topher Grace slimmed The Hobbit trilogy down to just 2 hours

But you will probably never get to see it.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Martin Freeman as Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 

Mark Pokorny

If you want to rewatch Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, you're going to need to set aside nearly a whole working day of eight hours, and that's not even counting the extended editions. Actor Topher Grace (That '70s Show) decided that was too long and managed to whittle the unwieldy series down to a mere two hours.

Grace revealed the existence of the edited film to IndieWire while promoting his role as Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in director Spike Lee's upcoming film BlacKkKlansman. Grace chose to reedit The Hobbit trilogy as a way of unwinding after filming the stressful role. 

Jackson's original effort adapted J.R.R. Tolkien's single book into three long movies: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies. Grace told IndieWire his version feels "a lot tighter." It even improves time-wise on a well-known four-hour fan cut called The Tolkien Edit.

Grace famously recut the Star Wars prequels into an 85-minute version called The Editor Strikes Back while he was learning to use editing software. 

The shortened Star Wars cut got one screening in 2012 and isn't available to the public. Grace's take on The Hobbit may prove to be just as elusive. He told IndieWire he doesn't plan to edit professionally and he likens the experience to having a woodworking hobby in his garage.

The Editor Strikes Back inspired other fans to make their own shortened takes on the Star Wars films, so there's a chance we'll see a similar phenomenon with The Hobbit. It sure would be nice to experience the whole story in a reasonable amount of time.