New title for second Hobbit film
Peter Jackson's forthcoming 'Hobbit' trilogy has changed the name of its second film and the release date of the final instalment.
The middle movie will now be called 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', after the dragon antagonist who wrecks havoc on Lake-town during the story.
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The third is now 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again', which was previously the title of the second instalment. Confusing isn't it?
The title will fuel speculation over where Peter Jackson decides to split up his trilogy.
When 'The Hobbit' was just two movies, it was suggested 'Part 1' would end with Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the Dwarves escaping Mirkwood in barrels. We think this will still be the case, as it's a natural and suitably climatic sequence.
'Desolation' will then presumably see action switch to Lake-town, which is burned to the ground by Smaug before the dragon is slayed by Bard (Luke Evans) - with a little help from Bilbo.
The final movie could then deal with the build up and conclusion of the Battle of the Five Armies.
Complicating all of this of course is the extra material from the appendixes of 'The Lord of the Rings' that Jackson chooses to include, and how much 'There and Back Again' will bridge the gap to 'The Fellowship of the Ring'.
The release date of the final 'Hobbit' film has also now been brought forward to July 14, from it's previous date of December 2014.
“We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tent pole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure,” Dan Fellman of Warner Bros told the Hollywood Reporter.
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' will de released on December 14 this year, followed by 'The Desolation of Smaug' on December 13, 2013.