If you felt that The Lord of The Rings director Peter Jackson was not on top of his game for The Hobbit trilogy, there’s someone intimately involved with the films who agrees with you: Peter Jackson himself!
In the special features for The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies Extended Edition, Jackson offered a very candid account of the issues that he and his team encountered while attempting to duplicate the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“Because Guillermo del Toro had to leave and I jumped in and took over, we didn’t wind the clock back a year and a half and give me a year and a half prep to design the movie, which was different to what he was doing,” said Jackson. “It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all.”
“You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it,” continued Jackson. “You’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot… I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it… even from a script point of view Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.”
At some point in the creation of these films, the decision was made to release The Hobbit as a trilogy, as opposed to the two movies that were originally planned. The newly released special feature chronicles Jackson’s struggle with filming the climactic battle sequence, before ultimately ending the shoot two months early in order to regroup and rework the sequence.
How is it that a story that took decades to get to the big screen ended up being rushed? MGM’s bankruptcy played a big role in that, as the constant delays from the studio forced del Toro to leave The Hobbit after spending years preparing for it. Jackson was the right choice to replace del Toro, but it wasn’t an ideal situation for any filmmaker. Knowing what we know now, it’s amazing that The Hobbit trilogy is as good as it is.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Extended Edition is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD.
How do you feel about The Hobbit trilogy? Share your thoughts below!
HT: The Guardian
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment