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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

There And Back Again

The Hobbit Movies Get Name Changes, New Release Dates

Noelle Stevenson‘s reimagined elf king Thranduil as Legolas’ speciesist party dad is here to tell you that the three Hobbit movies now have updated names, updated release dates, and updated swagger, now that his character design has been revealed in the form of Lee Pace in a shiny tunic.

We were already pretty certain that the first installment of the story The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would be December 14th. Sure, Peter Jackson and Co. managed to get permission to stretch the story across three films since San Diego Comic Con. But that decision was unlikely to impact a movie that’s already in the can. And, as expected, Unexpected Journey isn’t getting any changes. It’s the next two movies that will be shaking things up.

The second Hobbit film was to be subtitled There and Back Again, and set to premiere a year after the first, but that title has now been shunted to the third installment. The second movie is now, officially, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Bandersnatch Cumberbund Smaug, and will premiere December 13th, 2013. Folks who were worried about waiting a whole ‘nother year again for the conclusion of the story need not fear: There and Back Again is now set to hit theaters on July 18th, 2014, as a nice Hobbity breather between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.

And if you have my guess about it: I think this shortening of the release cycle betrays the presence of a cliffhanger between Smaug and There and Back. Hopefully, hopefully, the two movies will also be shorter and more manageable than the standard Peter Jackson fare. I love you and your movies, PJ, but I also wouldn’t mind being able to watch a LotR movie without feeling exhausted two thirds of the way through.

Oh. Speciesist Party Dad Thranduil wants me to tell you that The Desolation of Smaug is actually named after one of his dance moves. Whatever you say, Speciesist Party Dad Thranduil. Just stop embarrassing your kids.

(Middle Earth News via Tipster Anon. See more Noelle Stevenson here.)

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  • Ramona Donohue

    So does this mean the 2nd movie will end with the slaying of Smaug or if it’ll just be his introduction? Because if it’s his death too then all the 3rd movie is gonna have is The Battle of 5 Armies, which is going to be pretty awesome to watch but probably not enough to fill an entire movie.

  • Anonymous

    I am looking forward to these movies to a truly ridiculous extent – these movies look like a perfect storm of good direction and production, and perfect casting.

    Also, not sure if Google is just showing me the feeds it knows I like to read, but anyway – congrats on (temporarily) making the front page of Google News!

  • Raymond Manuel De Mello

    Right with ya Catepede! First book I ever read! Waiting for this to start Dec 14th and Robert Jordan/Brian Sandersons last book in the Wheel of Time series in January (A Memory of Light)!

  • Shelley Palmer

    Goddamn, I love Lee Pace. My two #1 celeb crushes are in this movie (Lee Pace and Aidan Turner). I’m wondering at what point it would be appropriate to start drooling….

  • Magic Xylophone

    But… but… Smaug’s gonna be in the first one, right? RIGHT????

  • Magic Xylophone

    They’re adding a bunch of stuff from the appendices to go some way toward bridging the gap between The Hobbit and LOTR.