Why Jackson's Hobbit trilogy will be the last Middle-earth movies

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

J.R.R. Tolkien fans, you'd better enjoy the Hobbit trilogy—because these will probably be the last films ever adapted from the acclaimed Lord of the Rings author's work.

Peter Jackson, who has adapted all the recent big-screen versions of Tolkien's Middle-earth saga, said he's open to seeing some of the author's other writings on the big screen. But those in charge of Tolkien's estate don't share that sentiment.

Jackson told MTV:

"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. They have an attitude against it...

[Tolkien] was at peace with the idea of a film being made of these books. 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. So unless something changes there, this will be the end of Middle-earth on film."

Jackson has a unique opinion on the Lord of the Rings canon, and compared it to George Lucas' Star Wars series in regards to mythology. Middle-earth is a big place, and Jackson said there are probably a lot of good stories left to be told:
"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. 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 Lord of the Rings became a smash hit a decade ago, everyone expected a film (or films) based on the Hobbit prequel to ramp up sooner rather than later. But it's taken this long due to everything from creative turnover to rights disputes to finally get it moving.

If The Hobbit reawakens Tolkien-mania, you'd have to think someone could find a way to keep the franchise alive. Heck, with Lord of the Rings they were basically printing money, so it'd be tough for all involved to leave that potential on the table forever.

What do you think? Let it lie, or dig a little deeper into Middle-earth?

(Via MTV)