The third “Hobbit” film is getting a name change.
Peter Jackson announced on Facebook the next — and last — instalment to the Hobbit franchise will change its name from “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” to “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”
Jackson explains the reasoning behind the title change:
“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.
The name change makes a lot of sense.
The “Battle of the Five Armies” is the climactic scene of the short children’s book and has been hinted at since the first film with Gandalf’s many disappearances on his own side venture.
The name change should also help attract a wider demographic who may not have been sold on a vague title such as “There and Back Again,” a nod to author J.R.R. Tolkien’s name for the adapted book. “Battle of the Five Armies” in the title sets up a giant war similar to the battle that took place in the final “Lord of the Rings” film, “The Return of the King.”
Don’t expect the name to go away entirely.
Jackson hinted since Tolkien used the phrase to describe title character Bilbo Baggin’s entire journey that “There And Back Again” may be “used on a future box-set of all three movies.”
Jackson added there will also be an extended version of the series’ second entry, “The Desolation of Smaug,” with more than 25 minutes of new scenes available.
The film was first released on DVD and Blu-ray April 8.
“The Battle of the Five Armies” will be released December 17, 2014.
You can read Jackson’s full announcement here.
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