The long-awaited first installment of The Hobbit is hitting theaters on December 14, yet it’s impending arrival hasn’t exactly been free of controversy.
First, even the studio, Warner Brothers, isn’t sure about the new 48 frames per second technology that Peter Jackson made the movie with, which he swears will revolutionize movies, but others feel it makes the movie look like it was shot on video.
Next came the decision to release The Hobbit as a trilogy, which some fans decried as a cash grab. Now word has come in to Deadline and numerous other movie outlets that the third Hobbit film now has a title and a release date, and that the second Hobbit installment also changed its title.
The third and (probably) final film is going to be called The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and it will be released world-wide on July 18, 2014, which Cinema Blend points out is the same day Fox will be releasing the sequel to X-Men: First Class, which will be X-Men: Days of Future Past. This X-Men installment will be based on the Days of Future Past installment of the comic, which came out in 1981, and deals with time travel.
As for the second flick’s new title, it’s now called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and it will be released on December 13, 2013. As for the third Hobbit coming out hot on the heel of the second one the following summer, Dan Fellman, who is the President of Domestic Distribution at Warner Brothers, said, “We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”
Jackson was also recently asked by io9 about Guillermo Del Toro’s involvement in The Hobbit. As you may recall, Del Toro was going to make The Hobbit for Jackson, but it fell through and Jackson decided to take the reins again. Although it would be fascinating to see what Del Toro could have done with The Hobbit, it’s still going to be Jackson’s vision.
As Jackson related, Del Toro designed a lot of the Hobbit, “and a lot of his designs are very Guillermo… It was very much stuff you would recognize from Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy. It was his artistic vision and I couldn’t make that movie. I looked at his designs and I said the only person who can make a Guillermo Del Toro movie is Guillermo. I redesigned the film pretty much. Some of Guillermo’s DNA is in there – there were some things that he did that I thought were pretty cool and I’ve taken bits of pieces of his stuff – kind of altering it and changing it as I saw it. But the film was largely redesigned.”
The world premiere date for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is November 28, and it will debut in Jackson’s native New Zealand, which means it won’t be long before the final verdict comes in with the fans and the critics. Stay tuned…