A Minute With: Director Peter Jackson on shooting "The Hobbit"

Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:02am EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy to life, filmmaker Peter Jackson is back in the world of Middle Earth with the author's prequel, "The Hobbit."

The three-film series is due to open in U.S. theaters on Friday with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

The Oscar-winning director, 51, told Reuters about the 3D film, including the 48 frames per second (fps) format he used, which was widely debated by fans and critics.

Q: You originally intended "The Hobbit" to only be two parts. Why stretch it out to three?

A: "Back in July, we were near the end of our shoot and we started to talk about the things that we had to leave out of the movies. There's material at the end of ‘The Return of the King' (the final part of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy) in the appendices that takes place around the time of ‘The Hobbit.'

"We were thinking, this is our last chance because it's very unlikely we're ever going to come back to Middle Earth as filmmakers. So we talked to the studio and next year we're going to be doing another 10 to 12 weeks of shooting because we're now adapting more of Tolkien's material."

Q: At what point did you decide you would direct the film yourself after originally handing it to Guillermo del Toro?

A: "At the time (we wrote the script), I was worried about repeating myself and worried that I was competing with myself. I thought it would be interesting to have another director with a fresh eye coming in and telling the story. But after Guillermo left, having worked on script and the production for well over a year at that stage, I was very emotionally attached to it. I just thought, this is an opportunity I'm not going to say no to."   Continued...

New Zealand director Peter Jackson emerges from a 'Hobbit Hole' to make an address at the world premiere of 'The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey' in Wellington November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Coote