I called it, and I’m sure many other Tolkien fans did as well. The second installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit has indeed been retitled.
Originally, when the project was a two-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, the second film was called The Hobbit: There and Back Again. But obviously this title implies the end of the story, and therefore has now been officially reassigned as the title for the third and final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. Read on to find out what the new title of the second installment will be, as well as the official release date of the third film!
The new title of the second installment of The Hobbit will be The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Some may recall that a couple of new Middle Earth-themed domain names were registered around the time it was announced that The Hobbit would be a trilogy, with one of them being TheHobbitTheDesolationofSmaug.com. Looks like the rumors of this being the new name of the second film were indeed true.
In addition, it was announced last month that the third film will receive a summer theatrical release, and now THR has confirmed the release date to be July 18th, 2014. If you recall, The Lord of the Rings films all had December releases, and the first two Hobbit films will also follow in this tradition. There and Back Again will be the only film in the six-film series to be released in the summer.
Regarding the release date of There and Back Again, Warner Brothers president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman had this to say:
“We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures added:
“The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.”
The Hobbit trilogy is directed by Peter Jackson, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released December 14th of this year, followed by The Desolation of Smaug on December 13, 2013, and There and Back Again on July 18, 2014. The films star Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Aidan Turner, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Ian Holm, Lee Pace, Dean O’Gorman, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Barry Humphries and Benedict Cumberbatch.