Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is considered by many to be a high-point in the world of fantasy cinema, as they were not only critically acclaimed, but also major financial successes, though the filmmaker's return to Middle-earth with his The Hobbit trilogy failed to capture the same magic, with star Jed Brophy believing the issue was rooted in the studio's interference with the films. Brophy played the Dwarf Nori in the trilogy, in addition to playing Orcs in the Lords of the Rings trilogy, who weighed in on the issues regarding how he thinks the second trilogy was developed versus the first.
"[The studios] get in the way... I may be speaking out of turn here, and probably if those people ever find me I'll get slammed, but I think that Warner Bros. kind of got in the way of Peter and The Hobbit," Brophy admitted to Kiwi Talkz. "None of them are people that can actually look at a script and in their head imagine how you can actually get the best drama out of that. And if you get in the way of that process you're actually stopping someone from actually getting a flow on, and that's what I think happened, that's what I could see happening is that there was not that same flow. Now, Peter would see stuff on Lord of the Rings and get this amazing idea about how he could shoot the next scene from stuff that was already happening on set, but if you've got people dictating what your day is going to be then that stops it."
The Lord of the Rings films were something Jackson spent years working on, with his passion for the adaptations being ignited as he developed The Frighteners and realized how CGI could make possible a number of ambitious ideas that were previously impossible to accomplish. Jackson's vision for the franchise was so unified that he shot all three entries over the course of one massive 14-month shoot, starting in October of 1999.
The films would go on to earn nearly $3 billion worldwide in addition to a number of awards, including Return of the King earning 11 Oscars.
Jackson's return would theoretically be an exciting event, but The Hobbit films were originally slated to be directed by Guillermo del Toro, only for the filmmaker to depart prior to filming, but after helming the pre-production process. This equated to Jackson shooting a film he didn't develop, which surely impacted his enthusiasm for the project. Additionally, the one book was conceived as a two-part film series, which was then expanded to three films. While a trilogy made sense for three books, expanding one novel into a three-film journey was a daunting task, as well as an exhaustive experience for audiences.
A Lord of the Rings TV series is currently being developed by Amazon Studios.
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