Peter Jackson Reveals Why He Wanted Hypnotherapy To Forget 'The Lord Of The Rings'

The director has a good reason for almost scrubbing the epic fantasy franchise from his memory.
Peter Jackson arrives at the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" in 2014.
Peter Jackson arrives at the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" in 2014.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Though there are moments in “The Hobbit” trilogy we’d happily forget (we dare you to remember anything that occurred in “The Battle of the Five Armies”), Peter Jackson was once keen on scrubbing that other famous franchise from his memory.

The Oscar-winning director recently revealed that he “seriously considered” using hypnotherapy to make him forget filming “The Lord of the Rings” so that he could enjoy the movies like the rest of us.

“When we did ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies, I always felt I was the unlucky person who never got to see [them] as a coming-out-of-the-blue film,” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter. “By the time there were screenings, I was immersed in it for five or six years. It was such a loss for me not to be able to see them like everyone else.”

Jackson, of course, successfully adapted J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy over three films ― “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” ― paving the way for large-scale fantasy genre productions over the next two decades.

The franchise boasted a nearly $3 billion worldwide box office gross and garnered immense critical acclaim for Jackson, who ultimately won Academy Awards in the Best Picture and Best Director categories for the final film.

But as an avid fan of the source material, Jackson reiterated that he could never fully appreciate his work.

“I actually did seriously consider going to some hypnotherapy guy to hypnotize me to make me forget about the films and the work I had done over the last six or seven years so I could sit and enjoy them,” he said.

The New Zealand director said he even contacted famous British mentalist and illusionist Derren Brown to help him on his own unexpected journey but ultimately didn’t “follow through with it.”

The director went on to helm three more films in the Tolkein-verse, including “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” as well as its sequels, “The Desolation of Smaug” and “The Battle of the Five Armies.”

But when Amazon began developing its own “Lord of the Rings” series, titled “The Rings of Power,” which arrives on the streaming service next month, Jackson claimed he was ghosted by the production.

“They asked me if I wanted to be involved ― [writer and producer Fran Walsh] and I ― and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,’” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

The one silver lining, however, is that Jackson will get watch the series, which is set thousands of years before the events of Tolkien’s trilogy, with fresh eyes.

“I’ll be watching it,” he added. “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. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”

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