With The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies now in theaters, filmmaker Peter Jackson has finally come to the end of his tenure in Middle-earth. The journey has been over a decade long, and while he tackled a few other projects in between the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sagas, he’s maintained a focus on larger-scale films that pushed the boundaries of technology and scale. However, Jackson says he now wants to go back to making considerably smaller films, ones that focus on true stories from his native New Zealand. It’s a return to form really, as Jackson first broke into the mainstream with his excellent New Zealand-set drama Heavenly Creatures.
In a recent interview, though, Jackson not only says he’s eager to return to smaller movies, but he actively dislikes the “Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon”, saying he has no interest in directing a Marvel movie. Read on after the jump.
Speaking with MovieFone (via ComicBook.com), Jackson reiterated his desire to make some New Zealand stories next, adding that the climate in Hollywood at the moment isn’t something he’s quite fond of:
“I don’t really like the Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon that exists right now. 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 scale.”
It’s certainly ironic to hear Jackson, who just turned a 300-page book into three massive films, railing against the franchise-driven nature of Hollywood. The filmmaker originally shot The Hobbit as two films, but a few months before the release of An Unexpected Journey the decision was made to do some additional filming and stretch the adaptation to three films.
Creatively it’s up for debate as to whether the expansion was for the better, but from a business standpoint this was absolutely a move to reap even more revenue from a billion dollar-grossing franchise. Given Jackson’s comments here, I wonder if he himself was even that keen of turning The Hobbit into three films or if others talked him into the decision to expand.
Whatever the case, Jackson doesn’t appear to be a fan of the superhero craze taking Hollywood by storm at the moment, so don’t expect him to be taking the helm of a Marvel movie in the near future (not like they could afford him anyway):
“I’m not going to head off and do a Marvel film. So if I don’t do a Marvel film, I don’t have any other choice — I’ve got to go make a small New Zealand movie!”
I’m not entirely sure what Jackson means by having “no other choice”. It’s absolutely hard for filmmakers to get non-franchise movies made these days (Even Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese have trouble finding financing), but I have to believe a filmmaker of Jackson’s clout would surely be able to get something close to his heart off the ground in Hollywood.
Regardless, Jackson is incredibly keen on making films about his native country so it appears he’ll be staying in New Zealand for the time-being. If this means we’ll be getting something more like Heavenly Creatures from Jackson’s next effort, then I very much look forward to seeing the results.