Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle-earth to life in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, three movies with huge ambitions, unimaginable amounts of care poured into them and which were obvious labors of love. Oh, and he also made some Hobbit films. After all this time spent painstakingly molding the world in his image, you might think he’d be a little put out at Amazon developing a Lord of the Rings prequel TV series without his involvement. But apparently, nothing could be further from the truth.
Speaking to ComicBook.com while promoting his upcoming Mortal Engines, he discussed the show and explained that he’s “not protective” of Middle-earth at all.
“I’m kind of looking forward to it. I was a guy who didn’t get to see the Lord of the Rings like everybody else because I had to make it, so I’m looking forward to seeing somebody else’s take on the Tolkien world.”
If you kept up with the behind the scenes drama that went into the production of The Hobbit movies, this won’t come as a big surprise. Post-Lord of the Rings, Jackson was eager to hand off directing duties on The Hobbit to Guillermo del Toro, who engaged in extensive pre-production for his version of the films.
When he left the project, citing creative differences, Jackson stepped in to direct with very little lead-in time. Just check out the making-of features from The Hobbit Blu-rays and you’ll see a harried, stressed and rather grumpy Jackson, who seems to sense that this is going to be a bit of a blot on his legacy.
So, in a way, settling back, putting his feet up and enjoying Middle-earth without having to be the guy at the centre of a vast merchandising and marketing opportunity, forever acceding to the studio’s demands and with less time than he’d like to work on the script, is his dream come true. But with Amazon’s take on The Lord of the Rings targeting a 2021 release date (maybe late 2020, if we’re lucky), both he and us have a long wait until it hits our screens.