Well, it’s official, if you haven’t already heard by now that Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy“ on 4K UHD Blu-ray is coming on December 1st. The three films here include “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012), “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013), and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014). The motion pictures featured a cast of Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, James Nesbitt, and John Callen.
Just like “The Lord of the Rings“ films, these films have all received new 4K remasters that were “overseen by [the director] Peter Jackson” himself. Again, as with The Lord of the Rings films, you will get both the Theatrical and Extended versions of the films included here, each on their own discs here for these films. That means you’ll see it be a 6-disc set that features a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc for each version of the film. That means no Blu-ray counterparts included, and in turn no bonus materials that I’ve been told of. Warner provided me the PRESS RELEASE to the announcement of these films officially coming out earlier today, and it has zero mention of extras coming (this year) for the release. First though, here’s a glimpse at the contents of this set below.So, I’ll get to the point here. There is actually a release planned for 2021 called the 6-Film “Middle-Earth” (Ultimate Collector’s Edition) on 4K UHD Blu-ray. That release will feature both trilogies in 4K, with both versions of each film, and the Blu-ray counterparts (remastered) and containing the previously released bonus materials — as well as some new exclusive extras. But, don’t get confused here. That’s for a future 2021 release on 4K of the two trilogies bundled together. Let me take some quotes regarding that from the press release to hopefully clarify that fully.
“In addition, it was also announced that a 4K UHD “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition featuring the theatrical and extended versions of all six films, along with new bonus content, previously released Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy, and remastered Blu-ray discs of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be released in the summer of 2021. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy featuring remastered Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and extended versions of the 3 films will also be released in the fourth quarter 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
So, again, as I said before, take a deep breath. Here’s even more on that, via the announcement headline.
“Six-film “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition with new Bonus Content to be released in 4K UHD in Summer 2021
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Remastered Blu-ray™ to be released in 4K UHD in fourth Quarter 2021 to celebrate 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
So, that’s a thing. There’s an upcoming bundle with extras if you want that, but if you already own the previous Blu-ray versions of these films with extras (bonus materials) then the only thing you’ll be missing out on will be the new extras and perhaps the digital copy? Speaking of which, this release will come with a digital code (copy) of each film in the trilogy and I will assume also both versions of each film.
For this upcoming 2020 release, the tech specs include a 2160p presentation in HDR10 and Dolby Vision forms of high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos sound. You can find a bit of info regarding (confirming) this and details about Peter Jackson’s involvement with these upcoming releases below, taken from the press release.
“The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.”
Now, you can find the 4K UHD Blu-ray available for preorder over at Amazon [commissions earned] and at retailer Best Buy. It’s totally worth noting that there will also be an exclusive 4K UHD Blu-ray SteelBook release available of the trilogy only over at retailer Best Buy (pictured below), which is now up for preorder.
Finally, further below, after the break, you can find the full announcement regarding this trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy both coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray.