Peter Jackson, never one to shy away from ambitious literary adaptations, is back at it again with Mortal Engines, the first book in Philip Reeve’s sprawling steampunk-science fiction epic series about a dystopian world that’s home to giant cities that travel the land on wheels. Now, his film has an official holiday-friendly release date of December 14, 2018.
Peter Jackson has been pretty much out of the spotlight since his Hobbit trilogy wrapped, but he’s ready to start on his next project, and, surprise, it’s another ambitious literary adaptation. Jackson and his Lord of the Rings crew, including Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, are teaming up again to bring Philip Reeve’s four-part Mortal Engines series to the big screen.
Following the epic (and epically not great) Hobbit trilogy, we all kind of assumed that Peter Jackson would take a little break from filmmaking. A blockbuster trilogy is exhausting and the guy has clearly earned a good nap or two. In news that may come as a bit of a surprise, it looks like the filmmaker is not only planning a new project, but he’s already begun working on it in secret — well, not so secret anymore, as Steven Spielberg has spilled the beans.
Last week, we took note of a new business venture called Screening Room spearheaded by Napster founder Sean Parker. The proposed service would digitally stream the latest major-studio theatrical releases into the confines of private American homes for a hefty estimated fee of $50 on the same day as in-theater premieres, rendering a trip to the local cineplex less necessary than ever. Naturally, this radical new strategy would change the entire face of the industry, and has accordingly raised hackles on the production, distribution, and exhibition sides of Hollywood. As movie theaters struggle to stay relevant and profitable, Parker’s every press conference sounds like a death knell. And this weekend, both sides of this instantly contentious debate dug in their heels on their positions.
Whether or not Peter Jackson wound up burnt out in directing The Hobbit trilogy, few would argue the Lord of the Rings aficionado has had ample time to prepare a long-rumored Doctor Who collaboration. That day may finally have arrived, as Jackson just stopped short of confirming his work on Season 10, with Peter Capaldi himself.
A video surfaced yesterday of behind the scenes footage from The Hobbit, in which Peter Jackson and several of his crew members are surprisingly honest about how rushed they were on the production, with Jackson admitting that he was “winging it.” Given how underwhelming The Hobbit trilogy turned out to be, those comments sure did make a lot of sense to fans desperate for an explanation. But according to Jackson’s spokesman, that video is misleading.
In news that will not come as a shock to anyone who actually sat through all three films and 400 hours of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson now admits that he was “winging it” through much of the production, and that even the scripts for the movies weren’t finished to his “satisfaction.”
All of Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have pushed the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, but it looks like the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies may be the Halfling that breaks the Oliphaunt’s back. It seems that the longer version of the trilogy capper, which is returning to theaters this October, has been slapped with an R-rating by the MPAA.
Remember the Hobbit movies? Your butt certainly does. Although they weren’t as long as the Lord of the Rings movies, Peter Jackson’s second series of films set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth felt much longer. Each film could have stood to lose at least 30 minutes from its running time. Heck, the trilogy should’ve been two movies but that’s a conversation for another day. The point is that these already long movies have extended cuts and these extended cuts are returning to theaters this October.
Before Peter Jackson took the reigns of the franchise, Guillermo del Toro was supposed to direct The Hobbit, and planned to bring his friend and longtime collaborator Ron Perlman to voice the dragon Smaug. But financial problems and delays at MGM eventually forced del Toro from the project; after Peter Jackson, king of The Lord of the Rings, signed on to direct in his place, he replaced Perlman with Benedict Cumberbatch. That’s just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which takes you on an unexpected journey behind the scenes of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy!