New title for second Hobbit film

With The Hobbit becoming a trilogy rather than a pair, there have been a few changes to the titles of the various instalments, with the second film now operating under the title The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug .

The final film in the trilogy will now assume the original name of the second episode, The Hobbit: There And Back Again . The Desolation Of Smaug will open on 13 December 2013, with the final episode arriving some seven months later on 18 July 2014.

"We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy ," said Dan Fellman, Warner's President of Domestic Distribution. "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."

Smaug is of course the name of the villainous dragon upon whom the dwarves wish to wage war, and Benedict Cumberbatch, who voices the beastie, recently dropped a hint as to when the scaly so-and-so will make his big-screen bow.

"I think my eye might open at the end of the first film and then you’ll get the rest of me in the second," commented the star recently. However, this was before the saga was confirmed as a trilogy, so Smaug's debut may yet be shunted back a little, depending on Peter Jackson's narrative tinkering.

In any case, the first episode of the trilogy remains unmoved, with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opening in the UK on 14 December 2012.

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.