A strange rumour has popped up this week claiming that The Hobbit: There and Back Again might possibly be in for a last minute title change before its release later this year. New Line have apparently had the title The Hobbit: Into the Fire officially registered, which has sparked speculation that this may become the new title for the final film.
The titles of the Hobbit films have gone through several changes over the years, mostly due to the decision to make three films instead of two. When two was the plan, the titles were to have been The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, both titles referring to chapters or phrases used in J. R. R. Tolkien’s book. When two films morphed into three, the planned titles of the second two films changed to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, again both taken from the book.
However, The Battle of the Five Armies was soon dropped in favour of There and Back Again, with all cast and crew members referring to the film as such in interviews. It’s not uncommon for studios to register multiple titles for their films before settling on the final choice, but to change a title again at such a late stage in the game would be a bit of an odd move.
There and Back Again (or TABA, as it’s known in the Hobbit fandom) has been accepted as the title of the third film for quite some time, and a brand has formed around it. Into the Fire, which is a reference to the title of the 6th chapter of Tolkien’s book, and also a line in the first film, doesn’t quite seem to fit, as technically the characters already went ‘into the fire’ in the second movie, unless this is a reference to… HERE BE SPOILERS!… what Smaug gets up to in Laketown in the next film.
There and Back Again has a nice cyclical significance, and is also a nod to the book Bilbo is writing in The Lord of The Rings; There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale. Still, this new title Into the Fire may have been registered for some completely different purpose, some sort of tie-in, or even a video game. We’ll just have to sit tight and wait for the first trailer to rear its fire-breathing head.
What do you think of the third Hobbit film’s possible new title?