By Dave Bouressa
Since the first 'Hobbit' film was released, it was always assumed that the final installment would be entitled "There and Back Again", based on the book that Bilbo writes, telling his story to Frodo.
However, recent rumors have come about stating that the film's title will be changed, with those rumors coming to rest, with Jackson confirming on his Facebook page that the film will be retitled 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 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!
Does "The Battle of the Five Armies" have the same ring to it as "There and Back Again"? Not quite. It reeks of Hollywood Executive meddling, but it is what it is. All we can hope for is that if we're getting another three hours of a third of a book, please just make our final visit to Middle Earth worth the final conclusion it deserves.