The Hobbit trilogy director Peter Jackson announced Thursday morning that the third and final film There and Back Again will now be titled The Battle of the Five Armies.
The original title had been with The Hobbit films since the beginning when Warner Bros. and Jackson only intended for the franchise to be two films.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Jackson explains the reasoning behind the switch to Battle of the Five Armies:
“‘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,'” the director explains.
Jackson says the idea to switch the title first came up in 2013. “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.”
The Battle of the Five Armies refers to the fight between the Goblins and the Wargs against the Men of Dale, the Elves, the Dwarves, the Eagles and a Shape-shifter.
The director also hints that the There and Back Again title may be used in a complete box set later on down the road.
One can argue that Battle of the Five Armies is a more thrilling title which will draw audiences in to see the conclusion whether or not they’ve seen the prior two films.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office while The Desolation of Smaug fell short of that milestone, so Warner Bros. will be looking to drive additional moviegoers in for the finale when it hits theaters this December.