“Because Guillermo Del Toro had to leave and I jumped in and took over, we didn’t wind the clock back a year and a half and give me a year and a half prep to design the movie, which was different to what he was doing. It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all.”
This is like showing up to a final of a class you skipped for most of the year. Del Toro leaving the project really put a damper on things, especially Jackson.
“You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot […] I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it ][…] even from a script point of view Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.”
So there you have it. Jackson “winged” a $745 million trilogy. Domestically, the movies barely made par with their production budget. Thankfully the foreign market more than happily made up the difference and more. It’s a shame someone like Jackson didn’t get the prep time he deserved. If he did, you have to wonder how the movies would have turned out. Or better, yet, what would they have looked like if Del Toro had stuck around to complete the trilogy? Sadly, one can only speculate at this point.