‘Hobbit’ gets a new name; ‘Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Ben-Hur’ get another chance in theaters

04/30/2014 2:22 PM

04/30/2014 8:11 PM

What’s in a name?

The last installment of

“The Hobbit” trilogy was going to be called “There and Back Again,” an ode to the full name of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel. But director Peter Jackson announced this week on Facebook

that he’s changing the title to “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” to better reflect the movie’s big ending (and maybe fire up the faithful before the December release?). “Our journey to make ‘The Hobbit Trilogy’ has been in some ways like Bilbo’s own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we’ve gone along,” he said. The original title might be used for a boxed set of all three movies.

Get back

Two classics are headed back to the big screen:

• To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ comedy/adventure

“A Hard Day’s Night,” a digitally restored version will hit theaters over July 4 weekend, says the Los Angeles Times

. That’s the same month that the cutest Beatle, Paul McCartney, plays the Sprint Center.

• Add another movie to the spate of new biblical epics. “Ben-Hur,” Charlton Heston’s 11-time Oscar winner from 1959, is getting a remake from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the producers behind “Son of God.” The new version is due in theaters in 2016. (The original is showing in a few theaters next week. See D2 for details.)

The one that I want

Two big old movies are getting the big ol’ televison treatment:

• 

“Grease”

will be staged as a three-hour live musical on Fox, the network announced this week. They’re taking a cue from NBC, which found big ratings success with December’s live “Sound of Music” starring Carrie Underwood. NBC has already announced a live “Peter Pan” for this December. No word on whether “Grease” will be more like the movie or the raunchier Broadway version.

• Zoe Saldana stars in a two-episode remake of the horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby.” It’s set to air on NBC on May 11 — Mother’s Day! — and May 15.

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