'I spent so much of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it.'

By Jonathon Dornbush
Updated November 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST
Credit: Todd Eyre

With two trilogies of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth books behind him, Peter Jackson has had plenty of experience crafting the world for the big screen. But, in a new DVD extra from the third The Hobbit film, Jackson reveals how trying a process bringing that second trilogy to life was.

An extra on the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies DVD takes an honest and open look at the production of the entire The Hobbit trilogy and the problems they faced when Jackson took over the films from Guillermo del Toro.

“Because Guillermo Del Toro had to leave and I jumped in and took over, we didn’t wind the clock back a year and a half and give me a year and a half prep to design the movie, which was different to what he was doing,” Jackson says in the extra.

There had been years of preparation with del Toro, but Jackson obviously had a different vision for the film, which had to be fit into a truncated pre-production process and often in the midst of shooting. “…As a result of it being impossible, I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all,” Jackson explains, referencing the small time period between the start of production between The Hobbit and The Adventures of Tintin, in addition to Jackson falling ill for a number of weeks.

“If I was a director that hadn’t had that 25 years of experience doing this in the past, it would have just been almost impossible,” Jackson says. “We would just tell the crew to take an extended lunch for an hour or so because I wanted to just get my head completely clear and plot it through. I spent so much of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it.”

The Battle of the Five Armies is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

  • Movie
  • 144 minutes
  • Peter Jackson