Joe Letteri agrees with rename of the final "Hobbit" film

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The first of three films based on an adaptation of the 1937 novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood & Orlando Bloom. Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

June 30th, 2014

Joe Letteri insists the title for the final installment of 'The Hobbit' had to be changed.

The visual effects artist - who is known for his work on films including 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' - claims director Peter Jackson made the right decision in changing the name of the final installment of the epic fantasy trilogy.

Following on from 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', the third in the series was originally going to be named 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' but was altered earlier this year to 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'.

Quizzed on whether he felt the new title was a better fit for the concluding chapter, Letteri said: ''Yeah because it is the climax, and you really just need to know that there is another battle for Middle-earth.''

'The Hobbit' serves as a prequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' - both of which were written by J.R.R. Tolkien and adapted into films by Jackson - and Letteri thinks the new title better demonstrates that.

He told Collider: ''The whole extension of The Hobbit's story has really been to get us to the point where we understand when we leave it what's going to happen when you pick up the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, and this really does kind of set that tone.''

When asked whether the battle will be the highlight of all six films, Letteri added: ''We hope so, that's the whole idea ... It's got to give you the sense that if it isn't won, there is no 'Lord of the Rings'.''

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' is slated for worldwide release in December 2014.