I felt these films had "too much," whether it was all the sideplots, CGI, action, or new characters. As a huge fan of the book, I decided to edit these movies down to match closer to what Tolkien wrote while also rectifying my own critiques. This project is for both the purist and casual fans alike, with the end result providing a more focused narrative that I find more enjoyable and emotionally impactful.
I initially edited with the book at my side, page by page, starting on June 19th, 2019. After numerous revisions to make the edit actually work for general audiences and feel as professional as possible, I finished on December 24th, 2021. I did one last revision in September 2023, where I am now fully satisfied with the cut after many years of work.
While it was my goal to match these films to the book (which can be silly), I felt Jackson went too far with immature humor that did not honor the tone that Tolkien achieved. Cheap humor like Ori’s loud burp, Bombur “eating cheese by the block,” or shoving an axe up Smaug's "jacksy" are some of the examples I cut, while I instead opted to only keep humor that does do the spirit of the book justice. I maintained this philosophy for the entire edit, as I do love that the book was full of plenty of witty, ironic, and lighthearted/charming humor.