The final installment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy is going out with a bang, dominating the box office for much of its run in theaters. But now it seems that The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will be Jackson’s very last film in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Despite a few reports from last year claiming that The Hobbit might not be the last fans see of Middle Earth, newer reports have been released claiming Peter Jackson is done for good.
According to iDigitalTimes, despite the fact that there remains a single work by J.R.R. Tolkien left to adapt into a movie, The Silmarillion, Peter Jackson won’t be taking on that film. The Silmarillion is a compilation of everything else the author wrote after The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, put together after his death by his son. The book includes detailed explanations of The Hobbit‘s characters and settings, as well as expansive mythology surrounding the creation of the Tolkien’s realm. While there might not be a larger narrative that drives The Silmarillion like there is with The Hobbit, many fans still expected the notoriously ambitious filmmaker to attempt the opus, especially after the success of The Hobbit movies. But Jackson won’t make the film — because he’s not allowed to. Peter Jackson doesn’t own the rights to The Silmarillion.
The rights to the book reside in the hands of Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien’s son who published the book. And Christopher Tolkien has made it very clear that he doesn’t like Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It gets worse. Christopher Tolkien has also stated that Jackson will never get his hands on the rights to make a Silmarillion movie. He also won’t sell the rights to anyone who might sell them to Jackson. In an interview with Le Monde, Tolkien’s son spoke out about Jackson’s adaptations.
“They gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk… The gap widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become is beyond me. This level of marketing reduces to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical significance of this work.”
In response to the issue of The Silmarillion, the director of The Hobbit has said: “I don’t think the Tolkien estate liked those films. I don’t think The Silmarillion will go anywhere for quite a long time.”
Even without the Tolkien estate’s approval, Peter Jackson has turned The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit into a massively successful film franchise. The first two Hobbit films got pretty poor reviews, but The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is doing considerably better at the box office. While the last installment of The Hobbit might be dethroned by Taken 3 according to Cinema Blend, it had a strong run.
Many of The Hobbit films were criticized for having drawn out a smaller portion of source material from The Hobbit book into three Hobbit movies. A lot of content in The Hobbit trilogy was also added by Jackson and his crew — none of which existed in the original Hobbit novel.
What did you think of The Hobbit trilogy? Would you have liked to see a Silmarillion movie?