Peter Jackson has once again stated that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be his final trip to Middle-earth, according to The Independent.
Ian McKellen recently stated his belief that Jackson would return to J.R.R. Tolken’s work eventually, and that McKellen himself wasn’t done playing the wizard Gandalf. Jackson has clarified that, for legal reasons along, that’s simply not possible.
“The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were sold by Professor Tolkien in the late Sixties, the film rights,” Jackson said at a press conference yesterday. “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.”
At the San Diego Comic-Con, in July, Jackson expressed a similar sentiment when he was asked about the possibility of making a movie based on The Silmarillion.
"The Silmarillion’s really simple," Jackson said. "J.R.R. Tolkien sold the film rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. The Silmarillion wasn’t written yet. It wasn’t even written in his lifetime. It was written by him and, partly, his son finished it after his death and published it after the professor had died. So, the film rights are with them, and the estate doesn’t have any interest in discussing film rights with anybody. So that’s the situation there. They’re not as untangled as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit."
Seems that when Warner Bros. markets The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with the hastag “#OneLastTime,” they mean it.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters December 17.