Director Peter Jackson is best known for delivering the incredible The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in the early 2000s. However, according to the director, he had no impact on the upcoming Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, even though he was reached out to by Amazon.
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Speaking to Scott Feinberg during The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Jackson said that he was approached by those behind the scenes of the show, and was told he would be receiving scripts, but never heard back from the company after that.
“They asked me if I wanted to be involved — [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,’” Jackson said. “So they said, ‘As soon as we get the first couple scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is fine. No complaints at all.”
Despite not hearing back, Jackson says that he’s still very much excited for the series, and doesn’t wish ill will upon the group whatsoever. “I’ll be watching it,” said Jackson. “I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”
In response to Jackson’s comments, Amazon noted that due to the legality of having to keep the Amazon series separate from the Warner Bros. films, it was a bit tough to look out for Jackson to advise. “In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films,” says Amazon. “We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”
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Sources close to the project also spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on what happened, and said that showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have privately reached out to Jackson. However, a litany of things kept Jackson away from the project, including legal concerns, executive changes at Amazon, and most importantly, the fact the estate for author J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t want Jackson involved in the series, likely due to the fact that they did not like any of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit films, with Christopher Tolkien infamously bashing them as nothing more than films for children.
However it went down, it seems as if Jackson will not be involved at all in the upcoming show, but will be tuning in to see how it is regardless.