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Peter Jackson says he "winged it" with The Hobbit trilogy

11.19.2015

The Hobbit Peter Jackson Martin Freeman Ian McKellen Banner

Although The Hobbit movies grossed over $2.9 billion worldwide, they didn't reach the critical heights of the Lord of the Rings flicks, and in a fascinating behind-the-scenes video from The Hobbit Trilogy Blu-ray, Peter Jackson said he really didn't know what he was doing while shooting the films. Jackson came on board to direct after Guillermo del Toro left the project, and the filmmaker says that didn't leave him with a whole lot of prep time before filming began.

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 I was going to make, which was different to what he was doing...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, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot […] We would just tell the crew to take an extended lunch for an hour or so because I wanted to just get my head completely clear and plot it through. I spent so much of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it […] even from a script point of view Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh], and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.

Jackson went on to say that having to fly by the seat of his pants was the reason why the theatrical release date for THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES was pushed back.

We had allowed two months of shooting for that in 2012, and at some point when we were approaching that I went to our producers and the studio and said: ‘Because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing now, because I haven’t got storyboards and prep, why don’t we just finish earlier?...And so what that delay gives you is time for the director to clear his head and have some quiet time for inspiration to come about the battle, and start to really put something together.

I highly recommend watching the full video (which is below), because it really gives you an idea of just how chaotic it was during the production of the Middle-earth films.

The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: The GuardianYouTube

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8:50AM on 11/20/2015
Seems odd that people are taking this as an opportunity to dump on Peter Jackson - you think it's easy agreeing to helm a series of films after another director has dropped out at the 11th hour? Even if you didn't like the films that much, at least give the guy some credit for doing what he could to deal with the situation.
I'd question the need to make one book into a trilogy, and certainly question some of the creative decisions made on these films, but I don't doubt for a minute that it was
Seems odd that people are taking this as an opportunity to dump on Peter Jackson - you think it's easy agreeing to helm a series of films after another director has dropped out at the 11th hour? Even if you didn't like the films that much, at least give the guy some credit for doing what he could to deal with the situation.
I'd question the need to make one book into a trilogy, and certainly question some of the creative decisions made on these films, but I don't doubt for a minute that it was an incredibly tough time for Jackson and believe he did what he could to rescue the films from a bad situation.
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+0
8:34AM on 11/20/2015

I knew it!

Not only did he wing it, he was also sleep walking his way through it!
Not only did he wing it, he was also sleep walking his way through it!
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8:17PM on 11/19/2015
First of all, Christopher Tolkien, J R R Tolkien's son is a dick. His father had a self described obsession for writing children's stories which started when he first became a father and would write stories for his kids. Tolkien's stories became increasingly darker as he got older, which is a problem that he himself addressed by going back and revising The Hobbit himself. [link]Revisions He would have been completely fine with Jackson making his own revisions to bring The Hobbit into ">
First of all, Christopher Tolkien, J R R Tolkien's son is a dick. His father had a self described obsession for writing children's stories which started when he first became a father and would write stories for his kids. Tolkien's stories became increasingly darker as he got older, which is a problem that he himself addressed by going back and revising The Hobbit himself. [link]Revisions He would have been completely fine with Jackson making his own revisions to bring The Hobbit into conformity with The Lord of the Rings. If Tolkien were alive today we not only would have had the movies we got but we would have gotten a third trilogy, The Silmarillion. Tolkien was never able to finish The Silmarillion because he reportedly found it harder and harder to concentrate as he got older. Perhaps one day Tolkien's grandchildren will sell Warner Brothers the rights to the Silmarillion and J R R Tolkien will finally be able to rest in peace knowing that his epic would finally be presented the way he always imagined it, albeit in movie form.
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7:59PM on 11/19/2015
You kind of know things were not all okay when Peter Jackson started gaining weight again.
You kind of know things were not all okay when Peter Jackson started gaining weight again.
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7:52PM on 11/19/2015

Well, I still love The Hobbit Trilogy. LOTR are my favorite films so anything being in Middle Earth has a special place in my heart. The first being my favorite. The CGI is really disappointing in the 2nd and 3rd but I still enjoy them. Would love to see Peter Jackson make a Gears of War movie based off of the first game.
Well, I still love The Hobbit Trilogy. LOTR are my favorite films so anything being in Middle Earth has a special place in my heart. The first being my favorite. The CGI is really disappointing in the 2nd and 3rd but I still enjoy them. Would love to see Peter Jackson make a Gears of War movie based off of the first game.
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7:35PM on 11/19/2015
The Hobbit films had their problems, and Jackson should share in part of the blame. However, you also have to respect Jackson a little for stepping up to direct these after Del Toro dropped out. The studio was going to make these no matter what, and could have hired someone much less talented or experienced. These movies could have been better, but they could have been much worse as well.
The Hobbit films had their problems, and Jackson should share in part of the blame. However, you also have to respect Jackson a little for stepping up to direct these after Del Toro dropped out. The studio was going to make these no matter what, and could have hired someone much less talented or experienced. These movies could have been better, but they could have been much worse as well.
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4:40PM on 11/19/2015
How can Peter Jackson be blamed entirely for the Hobbit then if this was the hand he was given. So much can be said about the Hobbit compared to the LOTR. The first Hobbit actually excited me, it was entertaining and made me happy to be back in that world. But the last two movies really didn't do it for me at all. They changed some major stuff from the novel to film, but that was the least of the films worries.
How can Peter Jackson be blamed entirely for the Hobbit then if this was the hand he was given. So much can be said about the Hobbit compared to the LOTR. The first Hobbit actually excited me, it was entertaining and made me happy to be back in that world. But the last two movies really didn't do it for me at all. They changed some major stuff from the novel to film, but that was the least of the films worries.
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4:04PM on 11/19/2015
color me surprised.
color me surprised.
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3:20PM on 11/19/2015

Jackson is SO overrated

LOTR - WAY too much green screen, way to much CGI, way to much deviation, not good at all.
Hobbit - see above.
Martin Freeman - terrible casting. Love the guy, but he's basically the same in everything.
King King - don't even get me started.

Jackson is terribly overrated - he's a younger George Lucas.
LOTR - WAY too much green screen, way to much CGI, way to much deviation, not good at all.
Hobbit - see above.
Martin Freeman - terrible casting. Love the guy, but he's basically the same in everything.
King King - don't even get me started.

Jackson is terribly overrated - he's a younger George Lucas.
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4:33PM on 11/19/2015
What do you mean.. I loved King King....
What do you mean.. I loved King King....
4:46PM on 11/20/2015
It sucked. He's a green screen whore. Look at the scene with the sailor and the young guy on the deck of the ship, the sky is fake, the sunlight is fake, the wind is a fan, and it's all so obvious. Plus me right out of the movie.
It sucked. He's a green screen whore. Look at the scene with the sailor and the young guy on the deck of the ship, the sky is fake, the sunlight is fake, the wind is a fan, and it's all so obvious. Plus me right out of the movie.
+2
1:59PM on 11/19/2015
Yeah it was obvious. Even the trailers looked muddy.
Yeah it was obvious. Even the trailers looked muddy.
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-4
1:54PM on 11/19/2015
I didn't even bother reading the article but "winged it"? Seriously?! Fuck you Peter Jackson! No wonder it came out a mess. And he should be ashamed for milking his own and J.R.R.'s legacy and then tainting it. Everyone knows The Hobbit trilogy was fucking horrible and just an attempt to milk the fuck out of the cashcow. They should have kept it to one movie. But I will say who knows if the movie first being in development with Guillermo messed anything up once it switched hands.
I didn't even bother reading the article but "winged it"? Seriously?! Fuck you Peter Jackson! No wonder it came out a mess. And he should be ashamed for milking his own and J.R.R.'s legacy and then tainting it. Everyone knows The Hobbit trilogy was fucking horrible and just an attempt to milk the fuck out of the cashcow. They should have kept it to one movie. But I will say who knows if the movie first being in development with Guillermo messed anything up once it switched hands.
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3:10PM on 11/19/2015
Rule #1: never comment without reading the actual article first.

Rule #2: never admit that you commented without reading the actual article first

Rule #3: read the actual article first before commenting
Rule #1: never comment without reading the actual article first.

Rule #2: never admit that you commented without reading the actual article first

Rule #3: read the actual article first before commenting
1:08PM on 11/19/2015

Interesting

I bet James Cameron never "Wings It".
I bet James Cameron never "Wings It".
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1:03PM on 11/19/2015

The Hobbit was, and is, a kid's book.

Not the gruesome, extremely boring, movies it was made into.
Not the gruesome, extremely boring, movies it was made into.
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12:47PM on 11/19/2015
The Hobbit Trilogy was easily like the Star Wars prequels for the LOTR series. They were CGI infested messes with idiotic characters and ugly set pieces. It's sad Jackson seems to have wanted to make only two films (at most) but I'm sure the studio wanted to capitalize on the appeal of a trilogy. Too bad the viewers had to suffer.
The Hobbit Trilogy was easily like the Star Wars prequels for the LOTR series. They were CGI infested messes with idiotic characters and ugly set pieces. It's sad Jackson seems to have wanted to make only two films (at most) but I'm sure the studio wanted to capitalize on the appeal of a trilogy. Too bad the viewers had to suffer.
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1:45PM on 11/19/2015
Some of the CGI was shockingly bad, too. The fight at the end of the second movie looks like a slightly more advanced episode of ReBoot.
Some of the CGI was shockingly bad, too. The fight at the end of the second movie looks like a slightly more advanced episode of ReBoot.
+2
12:16PM on 11/19/2015

The LOTR movies are far superior

The Hobbit movies, just as SW 1-3, are just a drawn out CGI feast with no substance or compelling drama.
The Hobbit movies, just as SW 1-3, are just a drawn out CGI feast with no substance or compelling drama.
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12:39PM on 11/19/2015
Lord of Ring movies a drawn out and boring. Just hours worth of walking and not much else.
Lord of Ring movies a drawn out and boring. Just hours worth of walking and not much else.
11:36AM on 11/19/2015

It's pretty impressive

I've seen all the behind-the-scenes featurettes this quote was pulled from. Out of context it sounds worse than it is (which is probably why it makes such great article fodder). But it's actually quite impressive how Jackson pulled it all together given the limited amount of time he had to prep. His prioritizing of elements and his decision to push back shooting the bulk of BOTFA by a year speaks volumes to his skill as filmmaker. You have to understand, he had 3 years of prep for LOTR. He was
I've seen all the behind-the-scenes featurettes this quote was pulled from. Out of context it sounds worse than it is (which is probably why it makes such great article fodder). But it's actually quite impressive how Jackson pulled it all together given the limited amount of time he had to prep. His prioritizing of elements and his decision to push back shooting the bulk of BOTFA by a year speaks volumes to his skill as filmmaker. You have to understand, he had 3 years of prep for LOTR. He was more or less a director-for-hire on The Hobbit. Whether or not you enjoy the films, very few other filmmakers would have been able to pull off what he did given the time constraints.
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11:38AM on 11/19/2015
Well said.
Well said.
3:24PM on 11/19/2015
Yup, also the fact that any planning he had done was for 2 movies and it was WB who mandated a third movie be made because they didn't have anything else at that point. So on top of everything, he now has to figure out how to make 3 movies instead of the planned 2.
Yup, also the fact that any planning he had done was for 2 movies and it was WB who mandated a third movie be made because they didn't have anything else at that point. So on top of everything, he now has to figure out how to make 3 movies instead of the planned 2.
11:35AM on 11/19/2015
I know my opinion baffles people but I have never been a huge fan of the 3 lord of the rings movies. On the other hand I absolutely love the 3 hobbit films and own the extended editions. It annoys me to no end when people use the "shouldn't have been split into three movies" line. Like that hasn't been said a thousand times before. The hate for these films feels like a case of people just jumping on the old hate bandwagon.
I know my opinion baffles people but I have never been a huge fan of the 3 lord of the rings movies. On the other hand I absolutely love the 3 hobbit films and own the extended editions. It annoys me to no end when people use the "shouldn't have been split into three movies" line. Like that hasn't been said a thousand times before. The hate for these films feels like a case of people just jumping on the old hate bandwagon.
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12:11PM on 11/19/2015
Not really. The LOTR films were magnificent and I was super pumped for The Hobbit. I saw all three on their opening day with other big LOTR fans; I enjoyed the first one, was iffy on the second, and loathed the third. I had no bandwagon to jump on. I just felt like they were messy, goofy, and in the case of Five Armies, aimless and ridiculous.
Not really. The LOTR films were magnificent and I was super pumped for The Hobbit. I saw all three on their opening day with other big LOTR fans; I enjoyed the first one, was iffy on the second, and loathed the third. I had no bandwagon to jump on. I just felt like they were messy, goofy, and in the case of Five Armies, aimless and ridiculous.
12:17PM on 11/19/2015
@ otterhead

Exactly.
@ otterhead

Exactly.
12:37PM on 11/19/2015
I cant help but disagree with everything you just said. Sounds like jumping on the the bandwagon to me.
I cant help but disagree with everything you just said. Sounds like jumping on the the bandwagon to me.
12:55PM on 11/19/2015
Stop falling back on "the old hate bandwagon" cliche'. If someone gives legitimate criticisms of a movie, and provides context and evidence to back that up, then that's actually the exact opposite of jumping on a bandwagon. It's fine to like The Hobbit movies, and it's even fine to like them more than the Lord of the Rings - but realize that you're in the EXTREME minority in that opinion, and accept that you're going to get a lot of hate thrown your way, bandwagon or not.

Stuffing your
Stop falling back on "the old hate bandwagon" cliche'. If someone gives legitimate criticisms of a movie, and provides context and evidence to back that up, then that's actually the exact opposite of jumping on a bandwagon. It's fine to like The Hobbit movies, and it's even fine to like them more than the Lord of the Rings - but realize that you're in the EXTREME minority in that opinion, and accept that you're going to get a lot of hate thrown your way, bandwagon or not.

Stuffing your fingers in your ears and going "I disagree with everything you said, I won't provide any actual reasons WHY I disagree, and I'll just casually dismiss you for just jumping on the bandwagon" kind of makes you look REALLY silly.
12:57PM on 11/19/2015
If by "jumping on the bandwagon" you mean "forming my own opinion while watching a movie before any reviews have come out", then yes. That's called "having an opinion". If you liked the movies, great! A lot of people did! No worries.
If by "jumping on the bandwagon" you mean "forming my own opinion while watching a movie before any reviews have come out", then yes. That's called "having an opinion". If you liked the movies, great! A lot of people did! No worries.
3:19PM on 11/19/2015
@SauronsBane

I realize I'm in the minority but I truly do enjoy the Hobbit films. When I watch them I get that true since of fun and adventure I never experienced with the Lord of the Rings except during parts of the first one. I do however feel that people use the us the line " they shouldn't have been split into three movies" as a negative not because they truly think that but because a huge number of well know critics said it first. When I hear that reasoning it does not providing me
@SauronsBane

I realize I'm in the minority but I truly do enjoy the Hobbit films. When I watch them I get that true since of fun and adventure I never experienced with the Lord of the Rings except during parts of the first one. I do however feel that people use the us the line " they shouldn't have been split into three movies" as a negative not because they truly think that but because a huge number of well know critics said it first. When I hear that reasoning it does not providing me with any legitimate criticisms. All it proves is that you've read some negative reviews online.

@ otterhead
if you feel they were messy and goofy then I'm sure you have your reasons and my above rant does not specifically apply to you.
7:26PM on 11/19/2015
@otterhead, But literally nobody in this thread used the "They shouldn't have split this into 3 movies!" argument, at all. So your "bandwagon" complaint comes across as a strawman - you're responding to criticisms that nobody here is actually saying.

Again, it's perfectly fine to like these movies. Nobody holds that against you. But it's wise to acknowledge WHY so many people have such a big problem with these movies. And yeah, like it or not, one massive problem is the fact that they turned
@otterhead, But literally nobody in this thread used the "They shouldn't have split this into 3 movies!" argument, at all. So your "bandwagon" complaint comes across as a strawman - you're responding to criticisms that nobody here is actually saying.

Again, it's perfectly fine to like these movies. Nobody holds that against you. But it's wise to acknowledge WHY so many people have such a big problem with these movies. And yeah, like it or not, one massive problem is the fact that they turned a two hundred page children's book into THREE entire movies. You can disagree with that criticism all you want, of course, but it IS a valid criticism by both fans and critics alike.

And it's not exclusive to The Hobbit movies either - plenty of people leveled the exact same criticism against the last Hunger Games book being split into two movies, or the Harry Potter movie, or Twilight. Is EVERYONE just jumping on the bandwagon for all those franchises, too? Or are they simply making observations based on what they see?
+4
11:20AM on 11/19/2015
It shows.
It shows.
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11:10AM on 11/19/2015
And yet I think the best movie of the three is The Desolation of Smaug, which of the three movies was the one cobbled together the most.
And yet I think the best movie of the three is The Desolation of Smaug, which of the three movies was the one cobbled together the most.
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11:09AM on 11/19/2015

Very obivious

If there was a book that didn't need to be three parts...it was this one. I wish Del toro stayed on
If there was a book that didn't need to be three parts...it was this one. I wish Del toro stayed on
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11:05AM on 11/19/2015
Clearly, this trilogy was shit.
Clearly, this trilogy was shit.
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11:36AM on 11/19/2015
You want to talk about shit lets talk about the Return of the king and its 15 endings.
You want to talk about shit lets talk about the Return of the king and its 15 endings.
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