Ian McKellan as Gandalf
Empire Ian McKellan as Gandalf

Empire magazine's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" edition (on newstands October 25, with five collectors' covers) arrives with some juicy new details for fans of Peter Jackson's ongoing Tolkien franchise, including the film's running time.

Jackson tells Empire, "It's going to be about ten minutes shorter than 'Fellowship' was. So it's going to be officially our shortest Middle-Earth yet... [It] is about two hours and forty minutes at the moment."

The credits sequences and certain visual effects are still to be added, which will slightly increase the theatrical run time. There's much speculation about how expensive Jackson's expanded trilogy is going to be. (Comic-Con video here; THR talked to Jackson.)

Check out the latest trailer for "The Hobbit" here.

Below, Empire's character covers for Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum, Galadriel and Thorin:

Bilbo character cover Empire
Gandalf character cover Empire
Gollum character cover Empire
Galadriel character cover Empire
Thorin character cover Empire