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Peter Jackson Admits He Was ‘Winging’ The Hobbit and Didn’t Know What the Heck He Was Supposed to Do With The Battle of the Five Armies

If you found yourself wondering what happened with The Hobbit movies (particularly The Battle of the Five Armies), this hey-it-was-really-nobody’s-fault clip might answer your questions. It’s newly surfaced behind-the-scenes footage from the Five Armies’s Blu-ray release that features a very tired Peter Jackson, along with the saga’s creative team, explaining the nightmares that creep up when you force an ill-advised trilogy:

The biggest snag was rooted in the pre-production process, which, compared to LOTR’s three-year head start, was nonexistent:

  • Guillermo del Toro spent a couple years drawing up plans, but then left. Jackson scrapped those ideas and started anew in his wake.
  • Jackson got sick for roughly six weeks, leaving him with a few months to continue not prepping the production process.
  • The whole team then had to plan on the go, rushing day-of to complete half-baked scenes, all while chasing release dates.

With that in mind, the featurette — tragically fascinating, in that train-wreck kind of way — ultimately reveals why a confused finale of fight elements was delayed and turned into its own entity, the Five Armies. “If I was a director who hadn’t had that 25 years of experience doing this in the past, it would’ve been almost impossible,” Jackson says of the undertaking. “I spent so much of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it. The fact that I hadn’t much prep and I was making it up as I went along … that was a very high-pressure situation.”

No kidding. But at least now, things, in retrospect, kind of make more sense.

Peter Jackson Admits He Was ‘Winging’ The Hobbit