‘The Hobbit 3′ Retitled ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

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the hobbit 3 title battle five armies The Hobbit 3 Retitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The live-action film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit – a novel that precedes events in the author’s touchstone fantasy genre work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy – was once going to be a two-movie project, with Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) calling the shots. One thing led to another, and instead the adaptation has become the second of two Peter Jackson Middle-earth cinematic trilogies, far more massive in both its scale and breadth than anyone would have originally anticipated – unnecessarily so, many will also tell you.

Anyway, the range in fans’ opinions concerning that matter aside, Jackson’s embellished telling of the story is nearly done, with the third and final Hobbit movie arriving this December. In recent weeks, there’ve been rumors that the film might be getting a different name than its previously-ordained title, which is The Hobbit: There and Back Again; while the fantasy epic will not be subtitled Into the Fire, as the rumor mill suggested, it’s now officially undergone a title change to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Battle of the Five Armies has come up in conversations as a potential Hobbit 3 subtitle before, seeing how the eponymous battle – something Jackson and his filmmaking collaborators have been teasing for a while now – is, without a doubt, going to be the center-price of the final chapter in Jackson’s take on Bilbo Baggins’ great adventure.

The writer/director confirmed as much when he officially announced the final Hobbit installment’s title on his Facebook page. Jackson also went into detail about the reasoning behind said move, while touching on additional Hobbit-related news (like the second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug, getting Jackson’s now customary “extended cut” treatment). Here is the full statement that the Oscar-winning filmmaker posted:

Inside Information…

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!

the hobbit smaug1 The Hobbit 3 Retitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Jackson’s last Hobbit film will, no doubt, include plenty of sword-clashing, arrow-flying, action for your dollar, but there’s also a whole lot of story material that needs tying up here too; besides the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) having left his treasure-filled nest to wreak havoc on Laketown, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) has yet to actually retake the Lonely Mountain for his people. Additionally, Bard the Bowman’s (Luke Evans) quest for redemption needs closure, as does the relationship between the elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and the dwarf Kili (Aiden Turner).

Between all that and more – partly setting up developments that transpire in the Lord of the Rings films – Battle of the Five Armies needs to carve out screen-time for Bilbo (Martin Freeman), so that his story may actually be brought to a proper concluding point. For these reasons, it’s possible that the last Hobbit installment will actually feel a little less over-stuffed than its predecessors, since the focus should be more on paying-off narrative threads instead of introducing even more.

Either way, we ought to be getting an early taste of Battle of the Five Armies in the months ahead, as a teaser trailer should be arriving with one of this year’s summer blockbusters – now that an unfinished cut of the film has been put together, as Jackson also mentioned in his FB announcement. In the meantime, feel free to let us know your thoughts about the final Hobbit movie’s new title (as well as your expectations for the film in general).


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in U.S. theaters on December 17th, 2014.

Source: Peter Jackson

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. It doesn’t matter to me as long as we get the movie.

    • “The Search for More Money” or “Separating You from Your Cash” would have been too on the nose.

      • those were in use already by Hunger Games and Divergent

        • and TASM and the countless reboots/remakes out there LOL

          • Hey, TASM is good!

            • Don’t forget Harry Potter and Twilight franchises

            • Okay, you crossed the line at Harry Potter… (gets on broom and flies away)

              • Avada Kedavra !

    • I’d rather get a cool movie with uncool title than an uncool movie…and we had two of those already

  2. This is a stupid subtitle, bring back the original. Heck, use the “The Hobbit: Into the Fire”, I don’t care, just don’t use this.

    • Crap! Thanks Writer, I really wanted to be second! #Sarcasm

      • You may not have been first, but you definitely scored worst!

  3. ThHis is a much better title then the one they had.

  4. Better Titles than “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”:
    The Hobbit: The Gathering of the Clouds
    The Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

    • No

    • The Gathering of the Clouds is laughably bad.

  5. Since splitting the final movie into two parts is all the rage these days (Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.), I wonder if they’ll split the third Hobbit into two movies: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Part 1: Into the Fire, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Part 2: There and Back Again. Then all titles are covered, the studio gets another year out of it, and the fans get to spend that much more time in Middle Earth. Isn’t that what we all want?

    • They already split the book into three parts.

      • I was being sarcastic. As irritated as fans are with a relatively short story being bloated into a lackluster trilogy, I don’t think anyone would be happy (or surprised, for that matter) if the studio decided to split the final movie into two parts.

  6. I think “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” sounds much better, but I will go see it either way.

    • LOL at anyone who would not see this movie (or any movie) simply because of the title.

      • I’m not gonna watch it because it’s total garbage. I don’t care what title this travesty has.

        • The moment you were born was a travesty….

          • You have garbage taste in film for defending the Hobbit trilogy.

            • Your parents have garbage taste in children

  7. Another step, in a long, sad history of this film trilogy. I’m actually glad it’s not called “There and Back Again”, that’s straight from Tolkien.

    • So is The Battle of Five Armies…

  8. I really like the idea of using “There and Back Again” for a boxed set.

    • ding, ding, ding we have a winner!

  9. The Hobbit: A Quest for the Better Subtitle

  10. Oh wow that makes perfect sense to change it. I like the idea of the entire trilogy box set to be titled, “There and Back Again” and the box to be in the form of a book (like the LOTR box set) it makes a lot more sense. Great report!

  11. “The Hobbit: The Five Armies” would have sounded better IMO

    • I agree, ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ is a little too long for my taste.

      • Its also abit of a spoiler in the title :)

    • come on…two extra words?

      • Heck yeah man. It’s called editing. :)

      • Yes, it’s a clunky title.

  12. The Hobbit: “We’re not sorry for making this in an average trilogy that is full of made-up filler material and crappy CGI; Oh look it’s Legolas!”

    Y’all just couldn’t make ONE decent Hobbit movie, instead we have two average movies and a third coming soon to a theater near you.

    Glad Jackson will finally be able to move away from the Middle Earth.

    • I think you’re insane. All of his Middle Earth movies are phenomenal.

      • Sorry, brother, the Hobbit movies are not phenomenal. They’re fun summer popcorn flicks, nothing more. The first was a Phantom Menace-esque romp that didn’t know whether it wanted to be a serious epic (the Azanulbizar scene was dirty, grimy, brutal and awesome) or a silly kids’ movie (Radagast, the dwarves who weren’t Thorin or Balin, the Goblin King for Christ’s sake) and the film suffered for it. The second was a marked improvement, but rushed past all the interesting locations like Mirkwood and the Woodland Realm for the sake of cramming in as much spectacle as possible.

        The Hobbit certainly has enough material for three films, with a huge variety of fascinating locations and story arcs, but these were mostly jettisoned in favor of a campy supporting cast and a whole pile of CGI nonsense. Freeman and Cumberbatch are fantastic in their parts, and Armitage is fine, too, but even McKellan seems over it at this point.

        The Lord of the Rings, this ain’t.

      • Negative. They are analogous to another prequel trilogy that shall not be named.

      • You’re saying the Hobbit movies are phenomenal as well?

        The CGI from the first movie set the tone of the series. How do you have a main protagonist look that bad for a supposed blockbuster! I suppose they spent all the CGI budget on making Smaug look great and hiring Cumberbatch to be the voice. But, then you have the molten gold that simply did not look great when you look at the detail of Smaug.

        Was it necessary to throw in a romance plot that changes what happens in the books? At some points it was so painfully forced that I had to refrain from chuckling at what was going on

        I’m curious why they felt the need to throw Legolas in the movies. Sure he was in the area but why does he have such a large part? Is it to bring in a crowd familiar with him?

        Then there’s the 20+ second scenes of characters doing nothing but walking! I get that the helicopter pilots out in NZ need some extra cash for the local economy but come on!

        I fail to see why it was so hard for them to not change so much up. I’m all for using the lore to semi-accurately portray material but what’s in the movies diverges far too much for my enjoyment.

        I was hoping for the same quality of the LoTR trilogy and feel let down as we know what they’re capable of pulling off.

  13. Something I suspect is how these Hobbit movies will be referred to in the future. When people talk about the individual Lord of the Rings movies, they refer to their subtitles, ‘Man, Two Towers was great!’

    However, I think people will simply refer to the Hobbit movies as Hobbit 1, 2, and 3. I can’t foresee people saying ‘I loved A Long Expected Journey!’ I don’t even hear that now.

    I’m not entirely sure why that’s the case, perhaps the subtitles for the previous Hobbit movies aren’t all that memorable or exciting. But they’re certainly a cut above from the generic subtitles you get for most Hollywood movies. ‘Revelations, Revolution, Resurrection, etc.’

    • Age of the First Rise of the Dawn of the Attack of the Movie’s Revenge Returns and Assembles part II.

    • Its ” An unexpected Journey” buddy..

      • See! Further proof that it’s not a very memorable subtitle and I’ve not heard it in the wild, and totally NOT the result of me being up for 18 hours. >_>

    • I’m sure no one will remember this trilogy in 2-3 years time. They will be completely forgotten.

  14. I’m waiting for the simple two-hour long fan-edit of the whole trilogy.

  15. I don’t care. Just please make another Middle-Earth trilogy after this one. A trilogy ending with how the first LoTR first began with Sauron losing his fingers and ring during the that War.

  16. Didn’t jackson see The Social Network?

    Drop “The” and the title becomes much much better, and cooler. ;)

  17. To all the naysayers about doing three films, guessing that attitude has changed in some cases.

    This battle could make LOTR battles tame by comparison.

    • No, just no. Look at the first 2 Hobbit films, complete garbage. Don’t have high expectations for this next one.

  18. “There and back again” is a metaphor, not a physical description. This just confirms that Peter Jackson doesn’t really understand what these books are about and just used the rights of Tolkien’s nouns to create a new story.

    • Boom. You are right on.

    • I thought “There and back again” was the name of the book Bilbo wrote…

      • Yes, I believe it was, which is why it was cool that they initially used that title. It sort of wrapped up his journey of going there and back again. But I guess that’s also a good title for the box set too, since his book would have been about the whole journey.

    • I agree. That’s why “The Battle of Five Armies” is a much better title. It communicates very clearly what these movies are really about and what Jackson really cares about: carnage, war, cataclysmic confrontations, and video game violence.

      Jackson, at least with these Hobbit adaptations, is only marginally better than a Michael Bay in his treatment of the material and yet the praise he receives…

      • Totally agree. The criticism of part 1 that compared him to Lucas was well-deserved.

  19. Should have been changed to “The Hobbit: TL;DR”

  20. no, i’m sorry but The Battle of the Five Armies is the best possible title. it shouldn’t be ‘into the fire’ because part 2 was about smaug and he had his moment to shine. of course he’ll be in part 3 but the main focus of part 3 is not smaug but the battle of the five armies. it’s the most appropriate title and it sounds lightyears better than ‘there and back again’. can’t wait to see those 25 minutes of extra scenes for part 2.

  21. I’m not going to touch on the subtitle, even though that is what the article is about. There are plenty of movies with crappy subtitles that are good films, the subtitle doesn’t matter; Dark Knight Rises anybody (yes, I think of the “rises” as a subtitle)? However, I love The Lord of the Rings films, even if they did deviate from the book, they were all around great films imo. The Hobbit Trilogy, is completely crapping on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (again, in my opinion).


    - If Gandalf had a battle with Sauron, he wouldn’t of had to go to Gondor to find out about Bilbo/Frodo’s ring. He would have known, having fought him 60 years ago.
    - Legolas shouldn’t be in the film. I understand why he could be, being the son of Thranduil (king of Mirkwood), but he shouldn’t. The scene in “The Desolation of Smaug” where he is battling the orcs doesn’t matter to me, we all know he makes it. Granted that implies that I don’t care about moments with Bilbo, that would be incorrect, the scenes with Bilbo (some having been in the book) make sense for story purposes and are fun to see.
    - The orcs are CGI, that drives me crazy. In LOTR the orcs were extras in makeup, and they looked cooler and more intimidating. The way Azog looks is laughable.
    - Radaghast the Brown is an embarassment, him and his rabbits are basically the Jar Jar Binks of Middle-Earth.


    All in all, The Hobbit Trilogy, or Lord of the Rings Prequel Trilogy, having not earned the title of Tolkein’s book, is a disgrace to not only the LOTR films but also the source material from which a quarter of it came from. Sorry for the run-on sentence there.

    • I agree with everything you’ve said, with the exception of your point about Legolas. The only reason Legolas isn’t in The Hobbit is because Tolkien hadn’t envisioned him yet. As the immortal son of Thranduil, he would most definitely have been the leader of the wood elves’ army and leading the brigade that landed Thorin and company in the dungeons. He was a logical inclusion that, in my opinion, did not harm the film. Plenty of other scenes harmed the film, of course (Bombur’s barrel roll, anybody?), but Legolas was actually a reasonable callback to the trilogy. It was also a decent way for the film audience to learn Gloin is Gimli’s father.

      The rest of your critique is spot on.

      • @Aramis
        Tolkein had written The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings had been published. Legolas was already in creation. Unless he had written The Hobbit first and published it after, but then he would have added Legolas. But I agree, I liked that line about Gimli.

        • Are you trolling on purpose to see how many commenters you can get to correct your fail Tolkien timeline?

          • @cidgrad
            Okay, I looked it up. Lord of the Rings came after the Hobbit. Somebody had told me otherwise. No need to get mean, I just didn’t know.
            Sorry, you were right. My bad.

            • If you can find an original copy of “The Hobbit” You’ll see that Tolkien had no idea he was going to write TLoR…Gollum was completely changed in later editions and so was the ring that Bilbo finds.

  22. “Stop the Planet of the Hobbits, I Want to Get Off!!”

  23. Thank you.
    I always thought that was a dull title.

  24. I’ll still gonna see it when it comes out next December

  25. I actually quite liked the first hobbit (even more than the second), and neither film felt too stretched out. Really looking forward to the third.

    Just had to put a positive voice out there with all the negativity being thrown around. It’s getting almost as common/predictable to hate on the Hobbit films as it seems to be to hate on Avatar. Oh well, that won’t stop me enjoying them.

  26. There are actually 3 huge battles in the film smaug attacking the dol guoldur battle and the now titular one this movie will prob b about 4 hours

  27. I can see why “There and Back Again” doesn’t match well since he’s already there, but “Battle of the Five Armies” sounds somewhat long and awkward.

  28. My 3 biggest gripe about Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

    A) Beorn had only 5 minutes screen time. In the book, when Gandalf introduced Beorn to the dwarves was longer. He was underused in the movie
    B) CGI river barrel scene
    C) that love story between elf & dwarf was useless story filler

    • Two movies would have been the better call. Three required filler. The upside of three films though is the employment of thousands of people involved with this franchise. LOTR and the Hobbit Trilogy built a new industry in New Zealand. I don’t think enough people understand that.

      • So we should excuse crappy, stretched-out movies because they help New Zealand’s economy? Wat?

    • I totally agree, Marvel Boy. Mirkwood suffered the same fate as Beorn. Mirkwood is what really captured my imagination from the novel when I was little and I was very much looking forward to seeing the film adaptation of it. Unfortunately, Jackson sped through it in like five minutes, left out all the best parts, looks like he reused the set from Fangorn Forest in LotR, and spent time instead on CGI barrels, the Kili & invented elf girl idiotic love story, as well as the Benny Hill filler CGI chase scene through the Lonely Mountain.

  29. Just 25 min longer is really disappointing !
    Must be caused they stretched the movies !