After the addition of another installment and a big release date shift, fans of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" series will just be happy to see the story reach a finale at all, regardless of what it's called.
Yes, the title of the (supposedly) final "Hobbit" movie is apparently up in the air. TheOneRing.net is reporting that their reliable source informed them recently that New Line Cinema has registered the title "The Hobbit: Into the Fire," a move that the fan site suggests could signal a name change for "The Hobbit: There and Back Again."
There's nothing to directly connect "There and Back Again" to "Into the Fire." Both titles have been registered by New Line, but at this point, the studio has been referring to the final installment by the former name for years.
It certainly is suspect, however. If "There and Back Again" is going to become "Into the Fire," I have to assess how I feel about the swap, and a really good way to get all of my feelings out is through a pros and cons list.
Pro: "There and Back Again" didn't have any marketable words like "shadow," "darkness," or "wrath." "Fire" gets people into the seats.
Con: Getting rid of "There and Back Again" kills the last memory of when this series was a much more manageable two movies.
Pro: "Into the Fire" is a reference to one of the chapters from the book, so the link remains intact.
Con: New Line also registered "The Battle of Five Armies" back when the series became three movies and needed an extra title. "The Battle of Five Armies" is way cooler than "Into the Fire."
Pro: At least this isn't an announcement that the third film is splitting in two.
Con: Or is it?
Pro: Whatever the movie is called, lots of people are going to see it regardless.
Con: It's still eight months away.
"The Hobbit: Whatever It's Called" opens in theaters on December 17.