Peter Jackson’s Final ‘Hobbit’ Film Gets A Title Change

By April 24, 2014
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As you may know, The Hobbit was initially supposed to be split into only two films, the first of which was to be subtitled An Unexpected Journey, and the final movie was to be called There and Back Again. This apparently wasn’t good enough for the brass at Warner Bros., who decided to turn one book into three freaking movies, in an effort to make as much money as possible and basically say “eff you” to fans in the process. (“What’s that, fans? You’d like one cohesive story? Hahaha…good one. Here’s one chapter. We know you’ll pay to come back and see more.”)

Now director Peter Jackson has taken to Facebook to announce a title change for the third film, due to hit theaters this December:

Inside Information…

Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo’s own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we’ve gone along. “There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the “Desolation of Smaug”.

When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.

And so: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” it is.

As Professor Tolkien intended, “There and Back Again” encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure, so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies.

Before then however, we have a film to finish, and much to share with you. It’s been a nice quiet time for us—Jabez and I happily editing away in a dark cave in Wellington—but those halcyon days are quickly coming to an end. It will soon be time to step into the light. Expect to see and hear much about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in the coming months.

And there’s also The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Cut, which we’re in the process of finishing, with over 25 mins of new scenes, all scored with original music composed by Howard Shore.

It’ll be a fun year!

I thought The Desolation of Smaug was a much better film than An Unexpected Journey, but the decision to split this into three movies has left me pretty burned out on this franchise. It’s one of the most blatant cash-grabs I can remember, and though I’m sure there are die hard fans of the films who revel in the opportunity to spend even more time in Jackson’s Middle-Earth, I feel like the filmmakers and the studio overstayed their welcome this time.

Do you like the new title? Will you see the film when it arrives in theaters on December 17th, 2014?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.