In a behind the scenes featurette, Peter Jackson pulled back the curtain to show how frazzled and hectic it was to shoot the Hobbit trilogy. He was faced with immense pressure to churn out the films without all the essential prep time that epic fantasy movies like these require. For reference: there were three and a half years of prep that went into the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That covers everything from story development to storyboards to prop fabrication, everything.
Here, according to the video, Jackson said he had to take over Guillermo del Toro’s vision after del Toro left the project. All the prep time was taken up by del Toro’s work, and Warner Bros. didn’t give Jackson the same amount of time–all because they wanted to hit their release date. They left him with the remaining prep time that del Toro left behind, and that was it.
In the video, Jackson expressed the state of affairs soon after they started filming, saying:
I spent much of The Hobbit not feeling like I was on top of it. Like I wasn’t prepped and making up much of it as I went along. Even from a script point of view, Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh] and I hadn’t really gotten the scripts to our satisfaction.
After all is said and done, Jackson was able to turn out three films that earned the studio loads of money. A lot of people have teased the trilogy for not quite being up to the standard set by Lord of the Rings, but now it should all make sense given what we’ve just learned about how it was behind the scenes.
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