Last month, The Hobbit two-part prequel was shaken up in a major way as Warner Brothers and Peter Jackson both announced that they would be expanding the story into a third film to hit in Summer 2014. While this reveal has gained plenty of mixed reception from various fans, it was the reveal of domain registrations regarding the new possible title that sent plenty into speculation mode. As the studio is still prepping to go back into production to shoot brand new material, tonight it seems another major development has been reached as they’ve not only set an official date for the final installment but also the second chapter has been given a new moniker.
Today, Warner Brother has announced that the now third filmThe Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released on July 18th, 2014. This puts the trilogy conclusion around eight months following the second installment, which has now be retitled The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug.
Now really the retitling doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Even more so we originally speculated that this would happen given that when the rumored subtitles had hit the internet a few weeks ago via the domain purchases. The clash with the dragon Smaug really occurs in the middle of the source material and serves as a catalyst for other events including the massive Battle of Five Armies.
And while there’s still a mixed reception to the new title for the second film, at least we have fantastic actor Benedict Cumberbatch providing the motion capture and voice work for Smaug. Let’s just hope he delivers as great a performance with the technology as Andy Serkis.
For those of you not keeping track the current release rundown for the trilogy looks like this:
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey kicks off everything later this year on December 14th.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug picks up exactly one year later on December 13th, 2013.
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again now concludes the trilogy on July 18th, 2014.
Interestingly enough, the new release date also poses a threat for an ultimate battle of the sequels. While The Hobbitwill conclude on July 18th, the much anticipated sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past will be going toe to toe with the newly set film on the same day. So who will win: Michael Fassbender or Ian McKellan (come on, it’s the Magneto fight you’ve all been waiting for…in a sense)? Guess we’ll have to just wait and find out!