George Lucas shocked the world earlier this year by handing Disney the keys to the "Star Wars" empire. But director Peter Jackson doesn't see the same thing happening with the world of Middle-earth; once "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" arrives in 2014, that'll very likely be the end of the Tolkien universe on film.
"I think [more Middle-earth movies] as an idea is fine, but legally it won't happen at the moment, because the Tolkien estate doesn't like that sort of thing," he told MTV News about the future of his beloved fantasy franchise past the final "Hobbit" film. "They have an attitude against it."
Jackson added that while J.R.R. Tolkien, who sold film rights to his books in the late 1960s, "was at peace with the idea of a film being made of these books," he doesn't feel that the Tolkien estate would be on board with more movies. "The other Tolkien material, that's very much in the hands of the estate, and they don't like the idea of films at all," he said. "So unless something changes there, this will be the end of Middle-earth on film."
Not to say that Jackson wouldn't root for future Middle-earth movies, based on his praise of Lucas for allowing "Star Wars" to continue on film. "Obviously if he had interest in doing himself, then that's what we would all like to see," he said. "But it's better to have more 'Star Wars' films than no 'Star Wars' films."
"The one thing that Tolkien said is that the wonderful thing with mythology — and George Lucas has created a mythology of his own — is that it keeps getting handed from one person to the next, and each person embellishes it and expands it," Jackson added. "It actually keeps mythology alive, because it should be a living, breathing organic thing where it expands over time. It doesn't just stay stagnant. So I think what George is doing with 'Star Wars' is terrific."
After "The Hobbit" ends, would you want to see more movies set in Middle-earth? Tell us in the comments section below!
Check out everything we've got on "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."