Last week, we reported that The Hobbit: There and Back Again, director Peter Jackson's final installment of his three-part J.R.R. Tolkien novel adaptation, may be re-titled The Hobbit: Into the Fire. Earlier today, the filmmaker revealed on his Facebook page that the title is being changed, not to The Hobbit: Into the Fire, but to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Here's the director's full statement, where he explains why the title change was made, less than eight months before its release, and teased details about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug's extended cut arriving later this year.
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 The Hobbit: 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.
It'll be a fun year!"
What do you think about the new title? Chime in with your thoughts below.