"What I don't like are pompous, pretentious movies." So says director Peter Jackson, and with his Lord Of The Rings trilogy he's achieved the impossible: turning JRR Tolkien's dusty tomes into the most successful trilogy of recent times. After spending the best part of five years working on the Rings trilogy, he's now poised to remake his favourite movie - 1933's King Kong.
You went to the wire again with The Return Of The King, editing until just before the world premiere. You must be exhausted...
I'm looking forward to having one of those Christmas vacations where, at any time of the day when you feel like having a sleep, you can lie down and sleep! That's what I'm looking forward to.
How do you feel about finally saying farewell to this incredible group of actors?
You know, I love those filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Mike Leigh who use the same actors in film after film, and I thought it would be so cool with these guys. We have such a great cast so I'm still hoping. We haven't written the script for Kong yet but I'm hoping we'll find parts. But if not King Kong, then beyond. I'd be interested in doing The Hobbit. If New Line ever called me up and said "Listen, we've got The Hobbit"... it would be strange for someone else to do it, I have to say.
Can you stand back and appreciate these three films?
No. For me, the experience is watching people's reactions to the films. I mean, I can't experience the film as other people can but what I get to experience - which is of interest to me - is that I get to watch the reaction of everyone around me.
How do you sum up The Return Of The King?
The Return Of The King is definitely the most emotional of the three films. It's my favourite one of the three. The Return Of The King has a conclusion. It finishes the story and concludes the journey of the Fellowship, and it really brings home the point of the first two films. I mean, if you make a trilogy, the whole point is to get to that third chapter and the third chapter is what justifies what's come before.
All along, the response from the fans has been tremendous. How do you evaluate the importance of the fan base for these films?
The fans have been so kind to us. It could have been tough. They could have beaten us up any number of times for the multiple changes we've had to make to the book along the way, but I think the fans have at least understood that we attempted to adapt it with integrity. Even though we were not always successful, I think the fans understand that at least we tried.
Finally, after all of this, do you have a favourite Lord Of The Rings character?
I love the hobbit. I love Bilbo Baggins. I relate really well to Bilbo!