In a wide-ranging interview with Moviefone published over the weekend, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson slammed the current state of Hollywood movies, saying they are too “franchise-driven” and that he’d like to make smaller films in his home country of New Zealand.
“I don’t really like the Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon that exists right now,” Jackson told Moviefone. “The industry and the advent of all the technology has kind of lost its way. It’s become very franchise driven and superhero driven.”
As Slashfilm’s Angie Han pointed out Monday, the irony is thick. The Hobbit franchise has grossed over $2 billion at the global box office, and is, by definition, a blockbuster franchise. The third entry in the series, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, has made nearly $100 million in its first five days of release, not to mention the billions the Lord of the Rings franchise has hauled in.
Jackson explained that he initially did not want to direct the Hobbit films, because he said he didn’t want to feel like he was repeating himself. Guillermo del Toro was originally slated to direct the films.
“I’m doing a battle scene, okay I’ve got to do a bigger one,” Jackson explained. “If I’m doing a spooky forest there, I’ve got to do it here. I was just afraid I would be in a rut, trying to compete against myself. I’ve got to compete against Peter’s spooky forest in 1999. That’s what I was nervous about. That was my biggest fear.”
Still, the director told Moviefone he gets letters from people in desperate situations in life that tell him the the films have changed their lives.
“They were thinking about suicide and they saw this movie and it turned them around,” Jackson said. “I don’t know how many other filmmakers get these letters, maybe everyone does. But some of the letters were really moving. I don’t think they’re crap. I think they’re very genuine. You don’t realize how important these movies are for people.”
Adding to the irony: according to Collider, Jackson is attached to direct the next The Adventures of Tintin movie, a franchise started by Steven Spielberg.