Director Peter Jackson brings last 'Hobbit' film to China

AP News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2015 7:09 AM
Director Peter Jackson brings last 'Hobbit' film to China

BEIJING (AP) — Director Peter Jackson attended a red-carpet premiere of the final "Hobbit" film in Beijing on Tuesday, saying that he has been having a hard time getting used to the nickname "Peter the Great" affectionately given to him by Chinese fans.

Jackson was joined at the event by actor Richard Armitage, who said he would miss playing in the "Hobbit" trilogy and would now focus on his role in TV drama "Hannibal."

The New Zealand ambassador to China also gave a speech welcoming fans to visit his country, where the films were made.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" ends Jackson's massively successful six-film franchise that started with the 2001 release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

Jackson was told about his "Peter the Great" nickname at a media event on Monday.

Jackson said then that when he was making "Lord of the Rings" he was thinking much more about fame, while making "The Hobbit" trilogy was experimental and personal.

"I didn't feel the need to prove myself in quite that way," he said. "Actually I just wanted to enjoy myself as a filmmaker. I wanted to learn. ... It was a more personal journey for me."

More and more Hollywood actors and directors are visiting China on promotional tours as the country has grown into the second-biggest movie-going market after the United States.

Asked which Chinese movie stars he would like to work with, Jackson said: "Depending on what film I make in the future, if there is an opportunity to work with Chinese actors I would absolutely love to."

The final film from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" fantasy novel has earned more than $800 million in the U.S. and worldwide since it opened in December. It will be released in China on Friday.