There's No Going Home Again

Last week, there was a brief tissy among Hobbit fans that the title of the forthcoming third film was going to be changed when Warner Bros. bought up some domains based on the title The Hobbit: Into The Fire, which is a terrible title. When there was no official comment from either Warners or Peter Jackson, I assumed it was another instance of the internet getting worked up over nothing. I assumed that Into The Fire will be the name of a Hobbit video game, or amusement park ride, or traveling ice show or some such thing.

I shouldn't have lowered my defenses so quickly. Posting on Facebook yesterday, here is Peter Jackson's comments regarding a potential title change:

"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!"
This was originally presented as an option two years ago, when it was first announced that the two Hobbit films would be split into three. When it was announced that Desolation of Smaug would be the title of the second film, I congratulated Jackson's decision to preserve the novel's alternate title as the name of the third film. It's poetic, and very finale-ish, and is much more optimistic sounding than Battle of Five Armies, which is more in keeping with the novel's tone.

While the logic behind the change is reasonable, I can't help but feel a little disappointed. It's a sign of the narrative shift the films have taken, away from being Bilbo's story, and more towards being a story of Middle-Earth. Bilbo has never felt like the focus of the Hobbit films; they are much more of an ensemble piece. And this change is proof that the final film will be less about the conclusion to Bilbo's story, and more about the transitional phase in Middle-Earth history that extends from the defeat of the Necromancer to the rise of Sauron.

But at least it's not Into The Fire. That is a terrible title.

Via Den of Geek.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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