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The Hobbit movies were awful, and now we know why

The Hobbit movies were awful, and now we know why

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Like a lot of people, I loved Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings trilogy (although we can all admit Return of the King didn't quite know when to leave the party). So I was pretty surprised when Jackson took over from Guillermo del Toro to make the Hobbit trilogy, and the first film turned out to be such a boring mess. Even more so when The Desolation of Smaug rolled around, and the problems somehow seemed to get even worse. In what can only be described as the most honest promotional video of all time, we find out why: the movies were made completely on the fly, without a script or nearly any advanced planning.

The above clip is from a behind-the-scenes video on the Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray, and it features Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, and other production personnel confessing that due to the director changeover — del Toro left the project after nearly two years of pre-production — Jackson hit the ground running but was never able to hit the reset button to get time to establish his own vision. In comparison, he spent years prepping the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, and on the Hobbit things got so bad that when they started shooting the titular Battle of Five Armies itself they were essentially just shooting B-roll: footage of people in costumes waving around swords, without any cohesive plan for how the sequence would actually play out. (A choice Jackson quote: "I didn't know what the hell I was doing.")

"I didn't know what the hell I was doing."

They ended up postponing the shoot so Jackson could figure out what he actually wanted to make, but between the constant yawning and the sad resignation that never leaves his face throughout the clip, it's clear the movies never had a chance. I'm frankly shocked that any promotional clip would be this straightforward about the problems the film had, but hey — whatever gets people talking about the movie.