Peter Jackson – director of the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies – has explained why he may not be able to make further films based on the works of the late JRR Tolkien.
Jackson’s third and final The Hobbit film, The Battle Of The Five Armies, is set to open in cinemas on December 12, and could be the director’s final foray into Middle-earth – even though much of Tolkien’s other works, including The Silmarillion take place in the same fictional universe.
“It’s a legal thing,” Jackson explained at a press conference in London yesterday (December 2). “The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien — The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were sold by Professor Tolkien the late 60s… the film rights. But they are the only two works of his that have been sold. So without the cooperation of the Tolkien estate, there can’t be more films.”
Tolkien’s son, Christopher, who edited much of his father’s posthumous works, revealed in his first ever interview last year (2013) that the family had declined an invitation to meet the Oscar-winning director. He also spoke critically of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, saying: “They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25.”
During the interview, Christopher Tolkien went on to explain that he is somewhat dismayed by the way his father’s writing has been embraced by pop culture, generally.
“The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialisation has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing,” Christopher Tolkien said. “There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”