After he wrapped filming on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Peter Jackson seemed to be done with plans to portray J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth on the big screen. Just over a decade later though he returned to the well with “The Hobbit” trilogy. Those films finally moved forward after the settlement of a long-running legal dispute between several studios over the property’s rights.
Now that the final “The Hobbit” film is about to score a release, the inevitable question has been asked about whether there are future screen adventures to be had in Middle Earth, specifically an adaptation of “The Silmarillion”. At a press conference on Tuesday for ‘Five Armies’, Jackson says there won’t be any more films as the rights to all of the author’s other works belong to his estate:
“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. But they are the only two works of his that have been sold. So without the cooperation of the Tolkien estate, there can’t be more films.”
If you think a deal can be worked out, think again. The author’s estate has not been happy with Warners, New Line, and Jackson regarding the film series’ artistic merit and financial affairs. Two years ago Tolkien’s son gave an interview to Le Monde in which he basically slammed Jackson’s films.
Jackson says that fans wanting more will have to wait for the extended DVD and Blu-ray edition of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” which is due out next year.