Uh oh! It looks like Peter Jackson has been hitting the mead just a little too hard. Granted, he has reason to celebrate, with “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies” taking $90 million from it’s opening on Wednesday until Sunday, helping to bring the worldwide total to $355 million in two weeks. Not too bad. But that take is in light of middling reviews and an ongoing perception that the story didn’t need to be stretched into three movies, and is an overlong, overstuffed cash cow made to ride off the success of “The Lord Of The Rings.” And yet Jackson is oblivious to the fact that he might be part of the blockbuster problem in Hollywood.
In an interview with Moviefone, the filmmaker expresses a desire to return of the more intimate movies of his early career while calling out the very kind of movies he’s actively made for more than a decade. “I’m absolutely happy to make smaller films. It’s what I want to do. Fran [Walsh, his co-producer] and I, and obviously with [his wife and screenwriter] Philippa, we made ‘Heavenly Creatures‘ as a chronicle of New Zealand,” he said. “We’re New Zealanders. ‘Heavenly Creatures’ was the last time we made a movie about our own culture. So we want to go back and make some New Zealand stories.”
“I don’t really like the Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon that exists right now,” he continued. “The industry and the advent of all the technology, has kind of lost its way. It’s become very franchise driven and superhero driven. I’ve never read a comic book in my life so I’m immediately at a disadvantage and I have no interest in that. So now it’s time for us to step back. We’re heading towards something of that [smaller] scale.”
But don’t think that Jackson is ready to step out of world of J.R.R. Tolkien. When asked by Variety if he would every return to the author’s works, the director didn’t rule it out. “If I had to start tomorrow, I would say no, because I definitely would appreciate a break to clear my head and get my little New Zealand stories done, which is where my passion and my heart is heading now,” he said. “But ask me in two or three years, and I’d probably say yes. It would be hard to see another filmmaker go into this world, because I certainly have an emotional ownership of it.”
But before you shout “the Silmarillion!” just be aware that it’s a long shot of such a project ever happening. “It’s a legal thing. The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien — ‘The Hobbit’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ were sold by Professor Tolkien [in] the late 60s … the film rights,” Jackson said earlier this month (via Hypable). “But they are the only two works of his that been sold. So without the cooperation of the Tolkien estate, there can’t be more films.”
Maybe a legal block on more Tolkien movies is just what Jackson (and everyone else) really needs. But will there ever be a small scale movie from the filmmaker again? Or will the allure of bells and whistles continue to be too much? Let us know below.