Last week, we reported that The Hobbit: There and Back Again might be retitled “The Hobbit: Into the Fire“, a subtitle taken from one of the chapters in the book. The subtitle “There and Back Again” was from when there were only two Hobbit movies, and it provided a nice connective tissue to when Bilbo (Ian Holm) hands over “There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale” over to Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Fellowship of the Ring. But connective tissue doesn’t sell movies, and a soft title like “There and Back Again” doesn’t have the active verbs required to sell tickets. The third and final Hobbit movie will now be titled, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies“, which is a pretty self-explanatory title. There will be five armies and a big battle. For those who haven’t read the book, I shall say no more. As far as a title, I like it more than Into the Fire, which sounded kind of generic.
Hit the jump for a statement from Peter Jackson on The Hobbit 3 title change. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.
Here’s Jackson’s statement from his Facebook page:
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!