Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson says he never got to see scripts for Amazon's upcoming prequel series The Rings of Power, despite having been asked to be involved with the project. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker recalled being approached by the studio, though when he asked to see scripts, he never heard back from the studio, leading to a professional ghosting of sorts.
"They asked if I would be interested in it," Jackson explained. "So I said, 'Have you got the scripts yet?' Because I know how hard the scripts were to write for the films, and I didn't know the people writing their scripts [newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are showrunners]. They said, 'Oh no, we haven't got the scripts yet, but as soon as we do, we'll send you [them].' So I was waiting for the scripts to arrive, and they never did."
The New Zealander – who helmed The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and all three Hobbit movies – went on to state that he wasn't too bothered about the lack of follow-up. In fact, he's "looking forward to actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer."
He continued: "I'm not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it's something to celebrate."
Amazon Studios issued a statement after Jackson's comments, saying that they were contractually obligated to separate their adaptation of Tolkien's work from what came before (the movies were produced by Warner Bros. with New Line). "In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films," the statement reads. "We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power."
It's perhaps no surprise that The Rings of Power will be different to the movies: Tolkien's son, Christopher, was notoriously unhappy with the cinematic adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, saying Jackson "gutted" the books to make an action flick. Amazon's new series has been created with the Tolkien Estate heavily involved, though Christopher Tolkien died in 2020.
Read more from the cast and crew behind Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in the new issue of Total Film, which also features articles on House of the Dragon, Andor, The Mandalorian season 3, and more. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is streaming on Prime Video from September 2.