The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies opens in theaters today, marking the end of filmmaker Peter Jackson's Middle Earth journey that includes The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. There are still more J.R.R. Tolkien tales set in Middle Earth, including a number of short stories and The Silmarillion, which offers an in-depth look at the land's history. However, all of those titles are still controlled by the late author's estate, which has been opposed to the filmmaker's adaptations for some time, and have no plans to relinquish the rights to those additional stories. During an in-depth interview with Variety, Peter Jackson revealed he would be interested in exploring those stories, if the rights should become available, but not right away.

"If I had to start tomorrow, I would say no, because I definitely would appreciate a break to clear my head and get my little New Zealand stories done, which is where my passion and my heart is heading now. But ask me in two or three years, and I'd probably say yes. It would be hard to see another filmmaker go into this world, because I certainly have an emotional ownership of it."

In between The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, Peter Jackson made the big-budget adventure King Kong and an adaptation of The Lovely Bones. Now that his Middle Earth journey is complete, for now, the filmmaker is now working on several true story adaptations set in his native New Zealand, which will be "similar in tone and scope" to his early films like 1994's Heavenly Creatures. Here's what he had to say about going back to his low-budget roots.

"We really feel a bigger urge now to not continue with another Hollywood blockbuster for a while, but to go back and tell some New Zealand stories."

We reported earlier this month that the filmmaker was being courted to direct Warner Bros.' adaptation Ready Player One, along with Robert Zemeckis, but it seems that the filmmaker is stepping away from the big budget Hollywood landscape for now. No details were given for any of the true story adaptations that Peter Jackson and his wife/writing partner Fran Walsh are working on, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as more details are available. Would you like to see Peter Jackson return to Middle Earth some day? Chime in with your thoughts below.

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