Film Director Peter Jackson has used his Facebook page to announce that a decision has been made to change the title of the third and final film of his ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy from ‘There and Back Again’ to “The Battle of the Five Armies”.
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 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! -Peter Jackson
Whilst the logic behind the change in title is sound, and the reports that the final complete boxset for The Hobbit will be called “There and Back Again”, I can’t say that “The Battle of The Five Armies” is all that…Hobbity. When the decision was made to make the book into three films instead of two, they had to create the title for the second Film “The Desolation of Smaug” so making up a new title for the final chapter makes sense as well, although fans have already used the posting to comment on their dislike for the way in which Jackson and his writing team have changed and just added completely new scenes and characters for The Hobbit which do not appear in the original book.
As a fan I really have enjoyed both his Hobbit films. I had to rewatch the first film, ‘An Unexpected Journey’ on Bluray before I began to like it. In the Cinema it felt overly long and was not convinced by Martin Freeman’s portrayal of a young Bilbo. ‘Desolation of Smaug’ was more enjoyable in the cinema, but seeing characters who did not feature in the original book suddenly appearing in whole new written scenes was annoying but then it is Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the story, and real fans should also take the time to read the Tolkien story as per the book then just taking the films as the only version they need to know.
I am waiting to get the Extended versions in the complete boxset once released, and see them as Jackson originally intended. But this change in name has a sound logical reason, even if it will give fans not all that pleased with the film series another reason to be unhappy.