The original Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson says he was never consulted for Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series. Jackson directed the first live-action adaptation of the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, including 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring, 2002's The Two Towers, and 2003's The Return of the King, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director in 2004. Jackson would go on to direct The Hobbit trilogy, which split Tolkien's novel into three parts and was released between 2012 and 2014.
Since that time, Jackson has moved on from the world of Middle-earth, focusing on documentary films, including the WWII doc They Shall Not Grow Old and the Emmy-nominated The Beatles: Get Back mini-series. In 2017, Prime Video acquired the rights to develop a series based on the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, not the actual books themselves, making a five-season production commitment for The Rings of Power. The series is set to debut in September, but it won't have Jackson's name on it, as the director was never involved in any aspect of its production.
Talking to THR, Jackson recalls that the producers of The Rings of Power had reached out early on and asked if he'd be interested in being involved, to which the director said he'd need to see scripts first to give an answer. At the time, no scripts were written and the producers said they'd send them along once they were complete. However, no scripts ever appeared in Jackson's inbox and the show moved on without him, to which he harbors no ill will. Here's what he had to say:
They asked me if I wanted to be involved — [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script.' So they said, ‘As soon as we get the first couple scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is fine. No complaints at all.
Although he ended up not being involved, Jackson says he's looking forward to the show, saying, “I’ll be watching it. 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." Jackson also noted that he was compelled to watch The Rings of Power as a "perfectly neutral viewer" this time out, seeing as he was instrumental in the creation of the first two big-screen Lord of the Rings trilogies, which have since redefined how big-budget adaptations are done in live-action. The acclaimed director notes that Amazon is “betting the farm on Tolkien" given the immense investment they've made into the property.
The Lord of the Rings rights are complex and broken into many different aspects, which allow different studios to acquire pieces of them to make a live-action or animated series or film, making it a little perplexing as to how the films will (and won't) conjoin with the series. Thus far, reception to the trailers forThe Lord of the Rings:The Rings of Power have been strong and hype has built steadily toward it's debut on September 2, which will no doubt draw in a massive amount of views. While Jackson may not have a hand in the production of the show, it's obvious that his fingerprints are all over the property, having set the tone and style that can't help but be emulated beyond his camera lens for future creatives.