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'Hobbit' director Peter Jackson looks forward to 'stepping off the Hollywood blockbuster thing for a while'

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Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson

Director Peter Jackson still has two more Hobbit films to get to market, but he's already starting to plan out his life beyond Middle-earth. In a wide-ranging interview with The New Zealand Herald that took place while the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recorded the score for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Jackson said he was ready to move beyond big-budget blockbusters and tell some stories that hit closer to home. "We have got a few bits and pieces that we are working on, Fran [Walsh] and I. The things that we are most excited about are some New Zealand stories," says Jackson. "We just want to step off the Hollywood blockbuster thing for a while and we've had a few New Zealand stories in line for a while that we think would make great films."

He also hinted at the reasons he initially didn't want to make the heavy commitment to take on directing The Hobbit — it took up so much time and kept him from moving on to other projects. "In some respects in terms of my remaining film-making career this was a five-year chunk that was kind of taken out of it unexpectedly," Jackson said. "My future is five years less than I thought it was." That said, he doesn't resent his time diving back into Tolkien's world. "I thought if I am going to do that I am actually going to enjoy it. I am going to have fun," he said. "Hopefully, that is reflected on the screen, too."

"I don't pay a hell of a lot of attention to critics."

Jackson also made it clear that criticism of the first Hobbit film didn't bother him, nor was it going to affect how he worked on the last two parts of his epic. "I don't pay a hell of a lot of attention [to critics]," says Jackson. "Every time you do something people are going to like it, people are going to hate it. You tend to make the movies on the basis you are making them, for the people who are going to like them and not worry too much about people who don't like them. And as for the titular character of Jackson's next film, which fans are eagerly waiting to see, Jackson had a few remarks as they related to the music being recorded. "Smaug is not Jaws or a monster," says Jackson "Smaug is a psychopath. Smaug is literally a cunning, intelligent psychopath who is laying in wait for these guys. So [Smaug's theme is] sinister, clever kind of music."