In a surprise move Peter Jackson and his gang of movie-making hobbits have changed the name of the third and final act of their epic, albeit not as critically acclaimed, trilogy. What was once intended to be entitled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” will now be known as “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”.
This name draws direct attention to what becomes the final climactic clash in Tolkein’s book that the trilogy was based on. Personally I think this name change is fantastic and really let’s the world know what they are getting into when they buy tickets for this Holiday must-see. This name implies that we are in for a Helm’s Deep level of awesomeness, whereas, “There and Back Again” could imply to the casual movie-goer that we are just out for a leisurely Middle-Earth stroll.
Peter Jackson confirmed their reasoning behind this 11th hour name change in an official statement:
“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.”