When The Hobbit series was first announced, it was only going to be two films: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Now the film has three parts, and only one of the original names stuck. Funny how that works.
The second film is obviously subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, and now the third is getting a makeover. There were rumors this would happen, but the talk had the new title pegged as Into the Fire. Well, that's not it. The final film is now called The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.
Why the name change? Well, it's certainly a more intense title than the sentimental There and Back Again, which should lure in those who have felt The Hobbit series has been a bit lite on action, but on top of that Jackson explained that the old title just wasn't appropriate anymore:
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.
As for The Desolation of Smaug's inevitable extended edition, Jackson also shared a few details about that:
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.
That would bring the second film's run time to a whopping 186 minutes. And if it follows An Unexpected Journey's release pattern, the extended edition will hit store shelves about a month before The Battle of Five Armies hits theaters on December 17, 2014.
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