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Peter Jackson would make more Middle Earth films but explains why he can't

Peter Jackson never planned to direct THE HOBBIT, let alone all three films in the prequel trilogy. After THE LORD OF THE RINGS films, Jackson seemed set to return to Middle-Earth but only as a producer and a writer, content to allow other filmmakers to put their stamp on Tolkien's universe. But, on the cusp of THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES hitting theaters, Jackson has clearly explained why he will not return to the world of hobbits, orcs, and elves.

At a press conference today, Jackson explained that returning to Middle-Earth, at least for MGM, Warner Bros, and those involved with the current films, is at the Tolkien family discretion.

"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 the late 60s … the film rights," he said. 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."

The Tolkien estate has been vocally opposed to the way that Peter Jackson brought the written works of J.R.R. Tolkien to life, some claiming the action-oriented films have detracted from the importance of the novels themselves. There could also be monetary reasons as the LORD OF THE RINGS and HOBBIT franchises have not been lucrative for the Tolkien family based on the verbiage of the rights sold in the 1960s.

Needless to say, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES will put a cap on a massive and ambitious series of films which will remain unequaled by any other franchise for their cohesive style, vision, and execution. THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES opens on December 17th.

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