Q: What happens on the extended version of this one?
JACKSON: The extended versions are interesting because I do the extended versions for the fans, really. To me every time I put a scene in it, it's mucking up the momentum. The theatrical versions are very carefully worked out. We spent a whole year trying to get the best possible cut. I do the extended cuts because we have 30-40 minutes of footage that people are interested in, fans of the books. It's usually related to something that's in the book. It's a legitimate part of the adaptation of the Lord of the Rings and you can either have it lost forever or you can put an extended cut out. So I do these extended cuts thinking that people will like to see these scenes. But I'm aware every time I put something in [that] the momentum of the scene going to be slow. This is going to slow the first act down. Every time I think I'm spoiling the film, but I'm doing it because people want to see it and they'll see it in their home. The DVD has a different dynamic. You can watch it over two nights or you can pause it and make a cup of tea. The whole pacing on the DVD seems to have a different requirement or level of commitment from the audience. Then I read these reviews that say this is so much better than the theatrical version. And I think, 'Oh God!' The big question is, if you took this 3 hour and 40 minute version of the Two Towers and released it in the cinemas, what would people have thought of it? Everyone would have criticized it for being too long. Yet on video, they think it's better. I'm finding it fascinating because it's new. It's a whole different development in filmmaking that's because of the new technology and the way DVDs are establishing themselves. Packages for fans, the documentary materials, it's interesting. I don't know quite what the rules are.
Q: How do you address how long to make the extended versions?
JACKSON: I read criticism about us with the discs, but I don't know quite what the answer is. I don't know what it is that people want in actual fact so I don't know what the criticism is. If people are saying, 'Why can't we have a set that has the theatrical version and the extended version?' I'm not sure it's what they want, because if you do that it's going to cost more money. If we release a four-disc set, if you want the theatrical version and the other stuff, it's going to be a six-disc set and you're going to be charged for a six-disc set. What we're trying to do, we've tried deliberately to be good people. We put out the theatrical version for people who just want the movie in their collection. That's done with a disc with special features, so they have extra stuff and they have the theatrical version and it's as cheap as it can possibly be. Then we think the only people who are going to want to have the six hours of documentaries are going to be the aficionados and presumably they're going to be happy that we're giving them an alternative version of the film. If the theatrical version is all you want then that's the only one you'll have to buy. If you want everything, you're going to get charged for it.
Q: What's the definitive version of these films?
JACKSON: The theatrical versions are the definitive versions. I regard the extended cuts as being a novelty for the fans that really want to see the extra material.
MAN, THE TRUTH HURTS, DOESN'T IT?! ;)