Peter Jackson interferes with Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series.
The Oscar-winning director of Lord of the rings and The Hobbit Trilogies reveals the studio has asked him to be a part of its upcoming mega-budget series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and promised to send him scripts — and then never contacted him again.
“They asked me if I wanted to join – [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,'” Jackson recalled of Scott Feinberg The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast. “So they said, ‘As soon as we have the first scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is okay. No complaints at all.”
In an upcoming The business Podcast in conversation The Hollywood Reporter‘s Kim Masters, the filmmaker, reiterates the anecdote, rephrasing it slightly but making the same point: “About four, five years ago, they asked me if I was interested,” he says. “So I said, ‘Do you have the scripts yet?’ Because I know how hard it was to write the scripts for the films and I didn’t know the people who write their scripts. They said, “Oh no, we don’t have the scripts yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll send you the scripts.” So I waited for the scripts to come in and they never came.”
In 2018, Jackson told Brits metro“I think they’re going to send us some scripts to see if we can help.”
Nevertheless, Jackson emphasized that he has no negative feelings towards the series from Amazon and that he would like to see it as a fan of the franchise.
“I’ll watch it,” he says. “I’m not the bad guy. Filmmaking is hard enough. When someone makes a good film or TV show, that’s something to celebrate. The only thing I look forward to is actually seeing it as a completely neutral viewer.” Jackson adds that given Amazon’s massive half-billion-dollar budget for the series’ debut season, Amazon is “putting the farm on Tolkien.”
Amazon Studios responded to Jackson’s comments with the following statement: “In seeking the rights to our show, we were committed to keeping the series separate and separate from the films. We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and That Lord of the rings Movies and are thrilled he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”
Sources close to the project describe a complicated and delicate backstory to the situation. First of all, that the studio really appreciates Jackson and all that Rings of Power Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay have privately attempted to make advances to the filmmaker. But as the statement suggests, there were also legal concerns about keeping the films (which are owned by Warner Bros.) and the TV show separate. There were also leadership changes during the period in question, as former head of genre programming Sharon Tal Yguado — who a source described as a supporter of bringing Jackson on to the project — left the company in 2019. Perhaps more crucially, sources say author JRR Tolkien’s estate was opposed to having Jackson on board. This should come as no surprise as the estate had no involvement in his films and Christopher Tolkien had previously criticized the trilogy in the press for “eviscerating” his father’s books and claiming they had turned his novels into action films for young people who could ” Beauty and beauty “lacks heaviness.” But the estate has a stake in the series — Amazon paid the estate a staggering $250 million for the rights to make the show. All in all: You’re not just offering to send Peter Jackson a Lord of the rings Script and then let the man hang.
As the story progressed, Jackson was also asked if a film studio would greenlight his trilogy today. The director says, “Probably not. … Not with a director like me and a studio that would risk its money for three films,” he says.
As for the legacy of his trilogy, Jackson says, “If we’ve given something to the ongoing filmmaking community, [it’s] that we opened up the CGI box of tricks to have huge fight scenes.” That’s a somewhat humble answer considering epic fantasy shows like HBO game of Thrones probably would never have gotten the green light were it not for the massive box office and award success of its trilogy.
Jackson is also a contender for an award this season for his acclaimed Beatles documentary come backwho was nominated for five Emmys.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power follows the forging of the original Rings of Power during the Second Age that enabled the Dark Lord Sauron to spread evil across Middle-earth. It takes place thousands of years before the events of Jackson’s trilogy. The show premieres on September 2nd on Prime Video.
— Kim Masters contributed to this report.