According to his Facebook page, Peter Jackson has decided to rename the upcoming finale to his Hobbit trilogy. It will now be released as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Regarding the original title of “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” Jackson said it “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.”
Of course, expanding the story to three films in the first place has generally been received by critics – including yours truly – as a poor decision. The first two installments felt overlong and full of unnecessary side-tracks that. The excessive bloat not only sucks the energy from the central story, but also seriously threatens to sully the memory of his first classic Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I’d say my initial gut response to the name change is a negative one. But in all honesty, the truth is I’m caring less and less. Jackson has taken his once-visionary and groundbreaking franchise and cheapened it to merely a few steps above a Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer piece of popcorn entertainment. It’s lost its luster of importance.
Jackson’s full post on Facebook…
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!