UPDATE – AUG. 31, 2012:. Collider reports the third installment in The Hobbit trilogy will now be called The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The second film has been re-titled, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. No title or release date changes have touched the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
ORIGINAL STORY:. This week there has been talk of a third ‘Hobbit’ film after The Hollywood Reporter reported that sources close to the production of The Hobbit say the filmmaker Peter Jackson wants to turn his upcoming two-film adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien epic into a trilogy.
While the first two films already have names – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” – it’s not officially known what the title of the third film will be.
Unless, of course, you take a look at some recent web activity involving “The Hobbit” and the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.
Domain registrations made this week suggest the title may be “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” or “The Hobbit: Riddles in the Dark”.
On July 27, several domain names were privately registered through MarkMonitor, of which The Saul Zaentz Company is a client. MarkMonitor is the same registrar responsible for managing the domains for TheHobbitAnUnexpectedJourney.com (Whois) and TheHobbitThereandBackagain.com (Whois).
Here’s a look at the full list of domain names registered through MarkMonitor:
Riddles In The Dark, is the title of one of the chapters of The Hobbit.
The Desolation of the Smaug, is the wasted, unpeopled lands around Erebor and Dale, charred and blackened by the burning breath of Smaug the Dragon.
At the time of this story, none of the domains resolve to a web page.
It’s possible these domain names were registered for something entirely different, and not for a third film. It’s also possible the company is doing nothing more than protecting its intellectual property.
So, for now, it’s purely speculation.
UPDATE 1: Peter Jackson has confirmed the rumor that “The Hobbit” will now be three films. No announcement on the title as of yet.
UPDATE 2: On July 31 and August 1, The Saul Zaentz Company registered domain names for “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”. The names, registered via MarkMonitor, include:
Talking about this story: Cinema Blend, Film School Rejects, Coventry Telegraph (blog), Den of Geek, Business Insider, Collider.com, Comic Book Movie, Bleeding Cool News, ScreenCrush, /Film, Screen Rant, Omelete, Uproxx, Revista Cinemania and First Showing
(Image of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey via trailer 1)