Deadline.com, film and entertainment news website, has interviewed Sir Peter Jackson about The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, San Diego Comic-Con, as well as his upcoming film Dam Busters.
In the interview, Jackson talks about the Beatles’ plans to create a film of The Lord of the Rings:
The Beatles once approached Stanley Kubrick to do The Lord Of The Rings. This was before Tolkien sold the rights. They approached him and he said no. I actually spoke about this with Paul McCartney. He confirmed it. I’d heard rumors that it was going to be their next film after Help. John Lennon was going to play Gollum. Paul was going to play Frodo. George Harrison was going to play Gandalf, and Ringo Starr was going to play Sam. And a lot of other people were going to play other roles. Paul was very gracious; he said, ‘It was a good job we never made ours because then you wouldn’t have made yours and it was great to see yours.’ I said, ‘It’s the songs I feel badly about; you guys would have banged out a few good tunes for this. You were The Beatles, after all. It’s a shame we missed out.’
Deadline.com also ask Jackson, “You brought to life JRR Tolkien’s creation. It’s his, but haven’t you earned the right to stake your own creative residence claim, and keep telling stories from Middle Earth, even original stories?“:
I don’t think that legally we’ve earned that right. Because of Tolkien’s rights, that is unfortunately an impossibility. The reality today is, the professor J.R.R. Tolkien sold the rights to both The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings when he was an old man in his late 60s. They both went to UA. […] The Tolkien estate has hung onto [the Silmarillion] film rights, and shown no desire for anyone to do it. That’s the current situation. There’s no amount of money that Warner Bros. could pay the estate for any film rights. No, no, no. And I’m sure they’ve offered any amount of money for those film rights.
You can read the full interview at Deadline.com.