Director Peter Jackson Laments Franchise & VFX Driven Hollywood

December 22, 2014

Peter Jackson

Now that Peter Jackson is done with his overlong trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit, that means it's time for him to complain about how franchise driven Hollywood has become. That's right, the man who gave us not just one, but two trilogies based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien recently had an interview with Moviefone where he was asked about his desire to return to smaller films, and he said, "I'm absolutely happy to make smaller films. It's what I want to do…So we want to go back and make some New Zealand stories." But it's what he said next that is going leave you raising an eyebrow or rolling your eyes. Read on!

Jackson continued his reasoning behind wanting to get back to smaller films:

"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."

Are you kidding me? The man just delivered nearly eight hours of visual effects and fantasy battles over the last three years for an adaptation of the relatively short, lighthearted fantasy The Hobbit. He turned a single book into three films, even after he originally planned to only do two films for the project, and they don't even shake a stick at his original Lord of the Rings trilogy (though they can't stop winking and nodding to it) in terms of quality. If you look up hypocritical in the dictionary, you'll see this remark from Peter Jackson. Go ahead and make smaller films again, but don't act like you became a household name without franchises.

The most hilarious part to me though is just how much green screen and visual effects work was done on this film, especially compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy ten years ago, and yet Jackson complains about the advent of technology. Did someone fail to remind him of his divisive choice to shoot The Hobbit in 48FPS, thus putting the focus on the technology used to make the film instead of the story itself? Plus, SlashFilm points out that the extent of green screen and visual effects to make the film resulted in Sir Ian McKellen breaking down and crying on set. That's heartbreaking. Wake up, Peter Jackson.

Find more posts: Hobbit, Hype, Movie News

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Reader Feedback - 24 Comments


Peter Jackson can say, do and film whatever he wants.

ragethorn on Dec 22, 2014


I don't think FS is going to stop him.

OfficialJab on Dec 22, 2014


Preachin' to the choir, PJ.

Nick May on Dec 22, 2014


Obviously theres a point to his argument somewhere! Before you go judging him, try to understand what in fact he's trying to say. I'm sure he is fully aware of the amount of Visual Effects it took to make these two trilogies and dont think he would purposely make a hypocritical claim only to make himself look like an idiot. That was a very small statement that could of easily been extracted out of an entire interview context. He's a smart guy.........dont insult his intelligence.

Rock n Rollllll on Dec 22, 2014


Says a guy who returned to a big effects driven franchise because he wanted some more hits on his resume. And it isn't like Peter Jackson doesn't have his own qualities worth lamenting. Excess is one of those things. He has a refusal to edit and tighten his films. King Kong could have been a brilliant 2 hour and 40 minute film. The Hobbit could have been 2 fantastic 3 hour films....instead of 3 films that fight tooth and nail to come in over 2.5 hours each.

Chris Groves on Dec 22, 2014


The Hobbit and LOTR were envisioned back in 1995 so they were going to happen nevertheless. Its not like he went back for "more hits on his resume", the guy had to finish what he started. He's simply stating whats going on now with Hollywood. You can't go making assumptions or interpretations just from what you see above. Perhaps he'll go more in depth later into the statement he made.

Rock n Rollllll on Dec 22, 2014


Maybe he was heavily pressured into using so many digital effects and making it a trilogy, and that's what he's subtly trying to tell everyone.

OfficialJab on Dec 22, 2014


Why should he give excuses? ...maybe 'now' he regrets the comercial aspect of blockbusters. Everyone has a right to go against their own mistakes.

Jorge Oliva on Dec 22, 2014


Indeed. Who better to realize it huh?

avconsumer2 on Dec 22, 2014


So, he's fully aware of what the "Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon" entails now and wants out (and probably realizes that it's grown exponentially in the last decade, likely fractionally due to his success). I'm confused at to why there's perceived finger pointing and "hypocrite" labeling and not uproarious applause.

avconsumer2 on Dec 22, 2014


Sounds like he's jealous he wasn't asked to direct Suicide Squad.

CoosCoos on Dec 22, 2014


of course he feels this way. he is in no way being a hypocrite. he signed a contract to finish "The Hobbit" series because Del Toro backed out and it sucked the life out of him. he didn't know what he was getting into and he regrets every step of it. there is so much less artistry and heart that went into this Hobbit trilogy than LOTR. the movie reads like it's a job that had to be finished to get a paycheck. i can't even imagine how big of a nightmare it was to make these films.

mitchumer on Dec 22, 2014


link to interview in which he says all of this?....sounds like an interesting read.

dan on Dec 29, 2014


You can accuse Peter Jackson of overindulgence all you want, but calling him hypocritical seems a bit bitter to me. His own work is technologically heavy, but I wouldn't call it VFX-driven exactly. Whatever effects he employs, seem to be a decision because he loves the way it adds to the story, enriches the world or opens up fun possibilities. Peter Jackson has never come across, to me, like someone who is exploiting VFX to get some lazy spectacle or conflict. He seems like a kid who can't stop talking about something he loves until he's given you everything he's got.

Snev De la Fontaine on Dec 22, 2014


I really appreciate and agree with damn near everything he said here, but I hope he knows what he's doing by making these comments. You never wanna bite the hand that feeds you.

John Doe on Dec 22, 2014


Yeah I see this thing being a problem, but I think right now, there are more franchises doing it right than doing it wrong. The market is actually pretty ok at picking out the bad ones.

DAVIDPD on Dec 22, 2014


douche bag who is upset he cant recreate the love that was once bestowed to him for lotr.

Mr Chatterbox on Dec 22, 2014


troll who is upset that he isn't even good at trolling

Terry Craig on Dec 23, 2014


Why cos my opinion is different to yours? Pff.

Mr Chatterbox on Dec 24, 2014


Just hope he makes something a bit smaller, with less characters and a different world. Hopefully he hasn't found himself lost in his own head.

Carpola on Dec 22, 2014


the last "smaller movie" he made was Lovely Bones

Joseph on Dec 23, 2014


But huge franchises are awesome 🙁

Tuomas Lassila on Dec 23, 2014


There was a time when First Showing was an entertaining and positive site to visit each day. Now its a worn out site that caters and attracts only those who like to complain for the sake of complaining. My last visit here, so complain away.

Guest on Dec 24, 2014


oh, oh - as soon as PJ threw super-hero movies under the bus, you KNEW ethan (the champion of all things marvel) would respond. LOL

dan on Dec 29, 2014

Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.




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