Warner Bros. has announced that the inevitable extended version of Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit film, The Battle Of The Five Armies, will be released with an R-rating, contrasting with the theatrical release’s PG-13. The package, which includes the usual making-of featurettes and commentary from Jackson, explaining why a 300-page children’s novel needed to be expanded into nine hours of films, will include 20 minutes of additional footage, presumably containing something that was cut to achieve the more kid-friendly label.
The most likely culprit, of course, is footage from the movie’s big set piece battle, with Thorin Oakenshield maybe ripping a bat apart with his bare hands, or an orc getting graphically impaled on some willowy elf’s well-aimed arrow. (After all, anybody who sat through the original cut of the film is clearly begging for an even longer version of the titular war.) But it’s a lot more fun to pretend that the R-rated stuff comes from somewhere else; perhaps a fan-indulging hint of nudity from Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage (who doesn’t seem at all averse to that sort of thing.) Or maybe a bit of Tarantino-inspired dialogue between the party of dwarves, taking a break from all this talk of dragons and battle to launch into a profanity-laden analysis of Madonna lyrics, and what they’re going to do once they’ve gotten their hands on all of that fucking gold.