Final “Hobbit” Extended Edition Rated R

Is it Smaug swearing like a sailor? Bard the Bowman shooting more than just arrows, or Legolas and Tauriel inviting Kili to an elvish-a-trois?

According to Rope of Silicon, the MPAA has given the upcoming extended edition version of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” an R rating – the first in the series’ history.

The new cut of the film contains a further half-hour of footage not seen in the theatrical version, by far the most footage added back to a film in this trilogy (‘Journey’ had 13 mins more, ‘Smaug’ had 25 mins extra).

The rating has been handed down due to the film containing ‘some violence’, a change from the PG-13 theatrical cut which scored its rating for ‘extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images’.

The U.S. ratings board is notorious around the world for being incredibly lenient on violence and overly strict on nudity and sexual elements, making the change of rating here all the more baffling – especially considering all the previous Hobbit and “Lord of the Rings” films have contained plenty of intense fantasy violence in the past and made it through without the harsher rating.

This has led to two obvious questions – just what has Peter Jackson added back to the film in order to up the rating, and is this a deliberate attempt by the studio to drum up interest in the extended edition theatrical re-releases? We’ll find out in October when the ‘extended edition’ screens in cinemas ahead of its home video release in November.