When the third and final The Hobbit film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy hits theaters December 17, you might notice that it is no longer called The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Jackson took to his Facebook page to reveal that the film has changed its title to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
As he explained in his statement, the former title was more appropriate should the films be packaged as a set someday on home video. We, honestly, always thought that There and Back Again was a more fitting title for the entire journey, instead of simply the last film.
Which leaves us to wonder: Who are 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!