And by the way, don’t point out the irony of hating franchises after completing two movie trilogies because Peter Jackson‘s already aware of that! Yeah, this is something that Jackson said in a recent interview while promoting the third film in The Hobbit trilogy, and the sixth Middle Earth film overall, The Battle of the Five Armies. Considering that Jackson owns a pretty big share of the credit for the Hollywood obsession with huge franchise pictures with big budgets and bigger box office, his comments are either bold self-examination, or hypocritical B.S. from someone who’s sold out and has too many regrets to allow himself to be able to live with them, so he’s spreading the guilt around. Either way, yes, The Hobbit director now says that franchises are ruining the business. Deal with it.
While talking to Moviefone, Jackson said the following:
“I don’t really like the Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon that exists right now. The industry and the advent of all the technology, has kind of lost its way. It’s become very franchise driven and superhero driven.”
Uh, what? Did he not see his own movie? That one that’s in theaters now that’s the third movie in a prequel series to a previous series of films he produced. Also note his slam against technology. Like 48 frames-per-minute, which, unless I’m mistaken, has only been used thus far in Jackson’s Hobbit movies. If only the guy that made those movie wasn’t so obsessed with tech… Oh yeah.
As for “superhero driven?” Could it not be argued that his characters and their incredible feats of heroism, and the fact that they’re dwarves, elves and hobbits, are “superheroes?” Certainly the intention is the same, taking worlds and characters that are easily recognized and have a pre-existing awareness in the audience and make a movie series out of them. It’s also worth noting that a character like Legolas (Orlando Bloom), who has a very big role in both The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies was not in The Hobbit book at all. So why was he in the movies, Peter?
Speaking of The Hobbit, Jackson addressed some of the criticism of turning a single 300-page novel into a magnum opus over a seven-and-a-half hour movie:
“People are still bitter about the breakfast scene from the first movie. They say, ‘It took so long.’ Fair enough. But I always thought of these movies as a 7 hour film. So you look at it as, ‘Why are we spending the first quarter of this movie at a dinner scene?’ Where I’m thinking that it’s not the first quarter it’s actually 1/16th of a thing. We shoot them at the same time and obviously I can’t think of them as a single film, but I have to keep that structure in mind. That’s not really excuse for a long dinner scene, but still.”
That’s a problematic point of view because I and others would have much rather if Jackson had thought of The Hobbit as a single two or two-and-a-half hour movie rather than three of them. Hollywood is a pretty cynical place, but it’s hard to think of a move more blatantly cynical in recent film memory than to make an epic trilogy out of what was a straightforward and simple fantasy novel. I think the director doth protest too much, so it will be interesting to see what he decides to do next.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is in theaters now.