Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Final Hobbit Movie Changing Title to Into The Fire?

The One Ring is reporting a rather strange rumor that the final movie of The Hobbit trilogy will change its title from The Hobbit: There and Back Again to The Hobbit: Into the Fire. The There and Back Again sub-title has been associated with the movie since the then planned two movie adaptation of the novel. It is based on the "official" title as named by Bilbo in his memoirs from The Lord of the Rings. Basically it is the perfect title to use for the trilogy.

As a result this Into the Fire rumor comes at a bit of an time but The One Ring isn't in the habit of posting random rumors so its one you have to pay attention too even if your initial thought is to dismiss it as BS. But it is BS. TOR should have simply reported this as a "New Line registered new Hobbit title, purpose unknown" and then freely speculate on various purposes including title change. Their leap to changing the title of the final movie is a huge leap of logic with little support. Do not take is seriously. But since various mainstream websites reported this, I felt a need to post on it also.

Back to TOR, they apparently they decided the rumor was credible based on a few factors:
- New Line has registered the title The Hobbit: Into the Fire, exactly when isn't mentioned so can't place in any timeline for movie development.
- The Battle of Five Armies was another alternative title for the third film (or than second and final film) and New Line went far enough to register it at the same time they did The Desolation of Smaug. The main point is There and Back Again was one of several considered title options.
- No press, images or logo has yet to be released for The Hobbit: There and Back Again which means the movie studios have time to make title changes before the marketing machine kicks off and basically prevents them from making any title change.
- Studio execs have a history of assuming their audiences are so stupid that a title that might even be vaguely misinterpreted would negatively impact sales. "There and Back Again" might have been considered confusion by some executive (back from where, are they not already there". Probably whoever was this confused should probably be fired and clearly not qualified for their current job. This seems moronic...but studio execs really do think like this so the idea is entirely in the realm of possibility.
- Into the Fire fits the final story arc better. Besides being a simple, action orientated title, it also references Smaug the Dragon and the Battle of Five Armies that will be depicted in the movie.

My take is this is MGM making a registration for some future product that ties into the trilogy but isn't for the last movie. It is probably for a video game but could be for a contest, some new product, or any number of other things. I just don't see Peter Jackson signing off on a change. Nor do I see the MGM marketing department going for it considering the title has been out in the mainstream press for nearly two plus years now. If the concern is confusion, a title change pretty much guarantees it.

In addition, at this late in the game, the title change would cause all kinds of problems for tie-in products that are probably about to be or have already begun being manufactured for the final movie. Basically while 8 months seems like plenty of time to change and implement a title change, for something as expensive as The Hobbit trilogy with all kinds of related products, plans, marketing and other things already in motion, not only is a title change considered last minute, the window to make a changes probably closed mid-2013.

So again despite what other press sites report...treat this as a rumor and nothing more. Ignore it, don't even bother telling friends about it as just cause "I thought you said..." comments later.

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