Peter Jackson: I Didn't Know What the Hell I Was Doing on 'The Hobbit'

"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," admits the director in a behind-the-scenes video.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
'The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies'

Fans of Middle-earth who felt disappointed by Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movie trilogy, prepare to feel vindicated: Director Peter Jackson has revealed that the follow-up to the massively successful Lord of the Rings trilogy was created with unfinished scripts and a lack of adequate preparation.

In a behind-the-scenes video from the Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies DVD posted online this week, the crew of the movie talks about the lack of time it had to prepare for the movie.

"Almost every morning of the shoot, we're delivering the objects needed that day," said Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop's creative director. Brigitte Yorke, unit production manager, is quoted during the video as saying, "Peter never got a chance to prep these movies. But I can't say that! But he didn't!"

The problem, said Jackson, was that when Guillermo del Toro left the project during preproduction, the schedule didn't allow for a do-over in line with Jackson's vision. "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 [del Toro] was doing," said Jackson. "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."

"I was able to wing it, right up until the point that I had to start shooting this very intricate battle, and I couldn't wing it on that, really," he continued, discussing the decision to postpone the sequence. "We had allowed two months of shooting for that in 2012, and at some point, when we were approaching that, I went to Zane and Carol, our producers, and ultimately talked to the studio and said: ‘Because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing now, because I haven’t got storyboards and prep in this three months that we have now got this battle, why don’t we just finish earlier?' "

The delay, said Jackson, allowed him time to "clear [my] head and actually have some quiet time to sit and wait for those bits of inspiration to come about the battle you've got coming up and start to really put something together."

Watch the video below.

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