The Hobbit trilogy gets a new two-hour cut thanks to actor Topher Grace

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Jul 31, 2018, 1:45 PM EDT

Actor and editing wizard Topher Grace has been preaching the trilogy-shredding gospel since 2012, when he cut down the Star Wars prequels into one 85-minute movie called Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. Now that he’s had a little time go by -- and a terrifying role to tackle, which necessitated some major distraction -- he’s back in the editing game, this time tackling Peter Jackson’s bloated trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit.

According to an interview with Indiewire, Grace was really “depressed” after playing Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke for Spike Lee’s upcoming BlacKkKlansman, and needed an outlet to get out of his own head. “I was probably a terrible husband at the time,” Grace said. “It was so disturbing to go home and turn on the news to see how his ideology was affecting us at the moment.” So of course, he turned to The Hobbit series.

“I think that maybe The Hobbit should’ve been one movie, and many people would agree,” Grace said. “Money drives a lot of those franchises. It’s better when the art leads.” And this intense slash-and-burning of Jackson’s total 434 minutes into a reasonable, single film-length two hours? Just a zen hobby. “It’s not that I ever want to edit professionally,” the actor said. “It’s like doing woodwork in my garage.”

And if fans get a version that’s “a lot tighter” than the original? Well that’s just icing to Grace, who’s simply participating in a trend that YouTubers have run for years. “I don’t know what other guys do. Go fishing? For me, this is just a great way to relax,” Grace said of the hobby.

Making a fan cut as a way to avoid toxicity is about the healthiest expression of fandom as you can get, which makes Grace a great role model for fan creators... now if only we could see his version of The Hobbit. Alas, he hasn't released it -- though Grace did screen his Star Wars cut for industry insiders before it disappeared from the internet.