Peter Jackson

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Sir Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson SDCC 2014.jpg
Jackson at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con
Peter Robert Jackson

(1961-10-31) 31 October 1961 (age 62)
Wellington, New Zealand
  • Director
  • producer
  • writer
Years active1976–present
Partner Fran Walsh (1987–present)

Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known as the director, writer and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012–2014), both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. Other notable films include the critically lauded drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), the horror comedy The Frighteners (1996), the epic monster remake film King Kong (2005), the World War I documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) and the documentary The Beatles: Get Back (2021). He is the fourth-highest-grossing film director of all-time, his films having made over $6.5 billion worldwide. [1]


Jackson began his career with the "splatstick" horror comedy Bad Taste (1987) and the black comedy Meet the Feebles (1989) before filming the zombie comedy Braindead (1992). He shared a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with his partner Fran Walsh [2] for Heavenly Creatures, which brought him to mainstream prominence in the film industry. Jackson has been awarded three Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. His other awards include three BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, two Primetime Emmy Awards and four Saturn Awards among others.

His production company is WingNut Films, and his most regular collaborators are co-writers and producers Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Jackson was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. He was later knighted (as a Knight Companion of the order) by Sir Anand Satyanand, the Governor-General of New Zealand, at a ceremony in Wellington in April 2010. In December 2014, Jackson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [3]

Early life

Jackson was born on 31 October 1961 in Wellington [4] :25 [5] and was raised in its far northern suburb of Pukerua Bay. [6] His parents – Joan (née Ruck), [4] (p 20) [7] a factory worker and housewife, and William "Bill" Jackson, a wages clerk – were immigrants from England. [8] [9]

As a child, Jackson was a keen film fan, growing up on Ray Harryhausen films, as well as finding inspiration in the television series Thunderbirds and Monty Python's Flying Circus . After a family friend gave the Jacksons a Super 8 cine-camera with Peter in mind, he began making short films with his friends. Jackson has long cited King Kong as his favourite film, and around the age of nine he attempted to remake it using his own stop-motion models. [10] Also, as a child Jackson made a World War II epic called The Dwarf Patrol seen on the Bad Taste bonus disc, which featured his first special effect of poking pinholes in the film for gun shots, and a James Bond spoof named Coldfinger. [11] Most notable though was a 20-minute short called The Valley , which won him a special prize because of the shots he used.[ citation needed ]

Jackson attended Kāpiti College, where he expressed no interest in sports. [12] His classmates also remember him wearing a duffel coat with "an obsession verging on religious". He had no formal training in film-making, but learned about editing, special effects and make-up largely through his own trial and error. As a young adult, Jackson discovered the work of author J. R. R. Tolkien after watching The Lord of the Rings (1978), an animated film by Ralph Bakshi that was a part-adaptation of Tolkien's fantasy trilogy. [13] When he was 16 years old, Jackson left school and began working full-time as a photo-engraver for a Wellington newspaper, The Evening Post . For the seven years he worked there, Jackson lived at home with his parents so he could save as much money as possible to spend on film equipment. After two years of work Jackson bought a 16 mm camera, and began shooting a film that later became Bad Taste . [14]

Influences and inspirations

Jackson has long cited several films as influences. It is well known that Jackson has a passion for King Kong, often citing it as his favourite film and as the film that inspired him early in his life. Jackson recalls attempting to remake King Kong when he was nine. At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International, while being interviewed alongside Avatar and Titanic director James Cameron, Jackson said certain films gave him a "kick". He mentioned Martin Scorsese's crime films Goodfellas and Casino , remarking on "something about those particular movies and the way Martin Scorsese just fearlessly rockets his camera around and has shot those films that I can watch those movies and feel inspired." [15] Jackson said the 1970 film Waterloo inspired him in his youth. [16] Other influences include George Romero, Sam Raimi and the special effects by Ray Harryhausen. [17]


Splatter phase

Jackson's first feature was Bad Taste , a haphazard fashion splatter comedy which took years to make. It included many of Jackson's friends acting and working on it for free. Shooting was normally done on weekends since Jackson was then working full-time. Bad Taste is about aliens that come to earth with the intention of turning humans into food. Jackson had two acting roles including a famous scene in which he fights himself on top of a cliff. The film was finally completed thanks to a late injection of finance from the New Zealand Film Commission, after Jim Booth, the body's executive director, became convinced of Jackson's talent (Booth later left the commission to become Jackson's producer). Bad Taste debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1987. [18]

Around this time, Jackson began working on writing a number of film scripts, in varied collaborative groupings with playwright Stephen Sinclair, writer Fran Walsh and writer/actor Danny Mulheron. Walsh would later become his life partner. [2] Some of the scripts from this period, including a sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street , have never been made into movies; the proposed zombie film Braindead underwent extensive rewrites. [2]

Jackson's next film to see release was Meet the Feebles (1989), co-written with Sinclair, Walsh and Mulheron. Begun on a very low budget, Meet the Feebles went weeks over schedule. Jackson stated of his second feature-length film, "It's got a quality of humour that alienates a lot of people. It's very black, very satirical, very savage." [19]

Heavenly Creatures and Forgotten Silver

Released in 1994 after Jackson won a race to bring the story to the screen, Heavenly Creatures marked a major change for Jackson in terms of both style and tone. The real-life 1950s Parker–Hulme murder case, in which two teenage girls murdered one of their mothers, inspired the film. It was Fran Walsh that persuaded him that these events had the makings of a movie; [4] (p 466) Jackson has been quoted saying that the film "only got made" because of her enthusiasm for the subject matter. [20] The film's fame coincided with the New Zealand media tracking down the real-life Juliet Hulme, who wrote books under the name Anne Perry. Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet played Parker and Hulme, respectively. Heavenly Creatures was critically acclaimed and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards [21] and made top ten of the year lists in Time, The Guardian , The Sydney Morning Herald , and The New Zealand Herald . [22] [ failed verification ]

The following year, in collaboration with Wellington film-maker Costa Botes, Jackson co-directed the mockumentary Forgotten Silver (1995). This ambitious made-for-television piece told the story of New Zealand film pioneer Colin McKenzie, who had supposedly invented colour film and 'talkies', and attempted an epic film of Salome before being forgotten by the world. Though the programme played in a slot normally reserved for drama, no other warning was given that it was fictionalised and many viewers were outraged at discovering Colin McKenzie had never existed. [23] [24] The number of people who believed the increasingly improbable story provides testimony to Jackson and Botes' skill at playing on New Zealand's national myth of a nation of innovators and forgotten trail-blazers. [25]

Hollywood, Weta, and the Film Commission

The success of Heavenly Creatures helped pave the way for Jackson's first big budget Hollywood film, The Frighteners starring Michael J. Fox, in 1996. Jackson was given permission to make this comedy / horror film entirely in New Zealand despite being set in a North American town. This period was a key one of change for both Jackson and Weta Workshop, the special effects company – born from the one-man contributions of George Port to Heavenly Creatures – with which Jackson is often associated.

Weta, initiated by Jackson and key collaborators, grew rapidly during this period to incorporate both digital and physical effects, make-up and costumes, the first two areas normally commanded by Jackson collaborator Richard Taylor. [26] (p 229) [27]

The Frighteners was regarded as a box office failure. [28] Film critic Roger Ebert expressed disappointment stating that "incredible effort has resulted in a film that looks more like a demo reel than a movie". [29] In February 1997, Jackson launched legal proceedings against the New Zealand Listener magazine for defamation, over a review of The Frighteners which claimed that the film was "built from the rubble of other people's movies". [30] [31] In the end, the case was not pursued further. Around this time Jackson's remake of King Kong was shelved by Universal Studios, partly because of Mighty Joe Young and Godzilla , both giant monster movies, that had already gone into production. Universal feared it would be thrown aside by the two higher budget movies. [32]

This period of transition seems not to have been entirely a happy one; it also marked one of the high points of tension between Jackson and the New Zealand Film Commission since Meet the Feebles had gone over-budget earlier in his career. Jackson has claimed the Commission considered firing him from Feebles, though the NZFC went on to help fund his next three films. In 1997, the director submitted a lengthy criticism of the commission for a magazine supplement meant to celebrate the body's 20th anniversary, criticising what he called inconsistent decision-making by inexperienced board members. The magazine felt that the material was too long and potentially defamatory to publish in that form; a shortened version of the material went on to appear in Metro magazine. [33] [ full citation needed ] [34] [35] [4] (p 321) In the Metro article Jackson criticised the Commission over funding decisions concerning a film he was hoping to executive produce, but refused to drop a client-confidentiality provision that would have allowed them to publicly reply to his criticisms.

The Lord of the Rings

Peter Jackson at the premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on 1 December 2003 at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington. Peter Jackson01.jpg
Peter Jackson at the premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on 1 December 2003 at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington.

Jackson won the rights to film Tolkien's epic in 1997 after meeting with producer Saul Zaentz. Originally working with Miramax Films towards a two-film production, Jackson was later pressured to render the story as a single film, [36] [37] and finally overcame a tight deadline by making a last-minute deal with New Line, who were keen on a trilogy. [38]

Principal photography stretched from 11 October 1999 to 22 December 2000 with extensive location filming across New Zealand. With the benefit of extended post-production and extra periods of shooting before each film's release, the series met with huge success and sent Jackson's popularity soaring. The Return of the King itself met with huge critical acclaim, winning all eleven Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film was the first of the fantasy film genre to win the award for Best Picture and was the second sequel to win Best Picture (the first being The Godfather Part II ). Jackson's mother, Joan, died three days before the release of the first movie in the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring . There was a special showing of the film after her funeral. [39]

King Kong

Universal Studios signed Jackson for a second time to remake the 1933 classic King Kong . [40] The film was released on 14 December 2005 to critical acclaim and grossed around US$562 million worldwide. [41] He also collaborated with game designer Michel Ancel from Ubisoft to make a video game adaptation of the film, which released 21 November 2005 and was also a critical and commercial success. [42] [43] [44]

Crossing the Line

In 2007, Jackson directed a short film entitled Crossing the Line , to test a new model of digital cinema camera, the Red One. The film takes place during World War I, and was shot in two days. "Crossing the Line" was shown at NAB 2007 (the USA National Association of Broadcasters). Clips of the film can be found at [45]

The Lovely Bones

Jackson completed an adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller, The Lovely Bones , which was released in the United States on 11 December 2009. [46] Jackson has said the film was a welcome relief from his larger-scale epics. The storyline's combination of fantasy aspects and themes of murder share some similarities with Heavenly Creatures. The film ended up receiving generally mixed reviews and middling box office returns yet earned Stanley Tucci an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination. [47] [48]

Tintin franchise

Jackson at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International PeterJacksonCCJuly09.jpg
Jackson at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International

Jackson was one of three producers on The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn , directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2011. He is officially credited as producer but before he began working on The Hobbit , helped Spielberg direct the film. Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis were cast due to their collaboration with Peter Jackson on King Kong and The Lord of the Rings . Spielberg chose to work with Peter Jackson due to his work on the Lord of the Rings series, and knew Peter Jackson's company Weta Digital would make his vision a reality. It received positive reviews and grossed $374 million at the box office.

In December 2011, Spielberg said that a sequel was planned, but this time he would be in a producing role, with Jackson as director. [49] Kathleen Kennedy said the script might be done by February or March 2012 and motion-captured in summer 2012, so that the movie would be on track to be released by Christmas 2014 or mid-2015. [50] In February 2012, Spielberg said that a story outline for the sequel had been completed. In December 2012, Jackson said that the Tintin schedule was to shoot performance-capture in 2013, aiming for a release in 2015. [51] On 12 March 2013, Spielberg said, "Don't hold me to it, but we're hoping the film will come out around Christmas-time in 2015. We know which books we're making, we can't share that now but we're combining two books which were always intended to be combined by Herge." [52]

In December 2014, Peter Jackson said that the Tintin sequel would be made "at some point soon", although he intended to focus on directing two New Zealand films before that. [53] The following year, Anthony Horowitz, who was hired as the sequel's screenwriter even before the release of the first film,[ citation needed ] stated that he was no longer working on the sequel, and was unsure if it was still being made. [54] In June 2016, Spielberg confirmed that the sequel was still in development, but Jackson is working on a secret project in the meantime. [55]

The Hobbit

Jackson's involvement in the making of a film version of The Hobbit has a long and chequered history. In November 2006, a letter from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh stated that due to an ongoing legal dispute between Wingnut Films (Jackson's production company) and New Line Cinema, Jackson would not be directing the film. [56] New Line Cinema's head Robert Shaye commented that Jackson "... will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working at the company ...". [57] This prompted an online call for a boycott of New Line Cinema, [58] and by August 2007 Shaye was trying to repair his working relationship. [59] On 18 December 2007, it was announced that Jackson and New Line Cinema had reached agreement to make two prequels, both based on The Hobbit, and to be released in 2012 and 2013 with Jackson as a writer and executive producer and Guillermo del Toro directing. [60] [61]

In early 2010, del Toro dropped out due to production delays [62] and a month later Jackson was back in negotiations to direct The Hobbit; [63] and on 15 October he was finalised as the director [64] [65] – with New Zealand confirmed as the location a couple of weeks later. [66]

The film started production on 20 March 2011. On 30 July 2012, Jackson announced on his Facebook page that the two planned Hobbit movies would be expanded into a trilogy. He wrote that the third film would not act as a bridge between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films, but would continue to expand The Hobbit story by using material found in the Lord of the Rings Appendices. [67]

They Shall Not Grow Old

On 16 October 2018, Jackson's documentary about the First World War, They Shall Not Grow Old , was premiered as the Special Presentation at the BFI London Film Festival and followed by a question-and-answer session hosted by English film critic Mark Kermode. [68] The film was created using original footage from Imperial War Museums' extensive archive, much of it previously unseen, alongside BBC and IWM interviews with servicemen who fought in the conflict. The majority of the footage (save for the start and end sections) has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present detail never seen before. [68] [69]

Before the screening, Jackson said, "This is not a story of the First World War, it is not a historical story, it may not even be entirely accurate but it's the memories of the men who fought – they're just giving their impressions of what it was like to be a soldier." [70]

Reviewing the film for The Guardian , critic Peter Bradshaw said:

To mark the centenary of the First World War's end, Peter Jackson has created a visually staggering thought experiment; an immersive deep-dive into what it was like for ordinary British soldiers on the western front. This he has done using state-of-the-art digital technology to restore flickery old black-and-white archive footage of the servicemen's life in training and in the trenches. He has colourised it, sharpened it, put it in 3D and, as well as using diaries and letters for narrative voiceover, he has used lip-readers to help dub in what the men are actually saying.
The effect is electrifying. The soldiers are returned to an eerie, hyperreal kind of life in front of our eyes, like ghosts or figures summoned up in a séance. The faces are unforgettable. [71]

The film was broadcast on BBC Two on 11 November 2018. [72]

Mortal Engines

In late December 2009, Jackson announced his interest in a film adaptation of the novel Mortal Engines . [73] In October 2016, Jackson stated that the film would be his next project, as producer and co-writer, once again alongside Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. The film was directed by his long-time collaborator Christian Rivers. [74] [75] It stars Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Leila George, Ronan Raftery, and Stephen Lang. It premiered on 27 November 2018 in London, [76] [77] received negative reviews and was a box-office bomb. [78]

The Beatles: Get Back

On 30 January 2019, the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' rooftop concert, which was the band's final performance, Jackson announced that his next directorial work would be a documentary about the making of their final album Let It Be . In a process similar to his previous documentary project They Shall Not Grow Old, this created around "55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to [Jackson's team]", which are "the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio". The documentary used the techniques developed for They Shall Not Grow Old to transform the footage with modern production techniques, and seeks to display a new side of a period in the Beatles' history usually remembered as highly conflictual. [79] [80] [81] Most of the used footage was originally recorded for the 1970 Let It Be documentary. [82]

Clare Olssen and Jabez Olssen, respectively producer and editor of They Shall Not Grow Old, returned for this new project, with Ken Kamins, Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde as executive producers. The project was made with "the full co-operation" of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last two living Beatles, as well as John Lennon and George Harrison's widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. [79] [80] [81] The film includes the full 42-minute last rooftop concert. [82]

In March 2020, Walt Disney Studios announced they had acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Jackson's documentary, now titled The Beatles: Get Back. It was originally set to be released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on 27 August 2021 in the US and Canada with a subsequent global release to follow. [83] In June 2021, it was announced that it would be released on Disney+ as a three-part documentary series on 25, 26 and 27 November 2021. [84] The documentary was released to generally positive reviews. [85] [86]

New Lord of the Rings series

In May 2024, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav confirmed that Jackson and his partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens would be producing a new Lord of the Rings film with the working title The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. The film is intended to be released in 2026, with Andy Serkis directing from a screenplay written by Walsh, Boyens, Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou. The Hunt for Gollum is the first slate in a new Lord of the Rings film series developed through Warner Bros. label New Line Cinema. In February 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery had signed a deal with the Embracer Group to produced a new series of Lord of the Rings live-action films. [87] On 10 May, RNZ reported that Wellington would serve as the production hub for the new Lord of the Rings films. [88]


Jackson was set to make games with Microsoft Game Studios, a partnership announced on 27 September 2006, at X06. [89] Specifically, Jackson and Microsoft were teaming together to form a new studio called Wingnut Interactive. [90] In collaboration with Bungie, he was to co-write, co-design and co-produce a new game taking place in the Halo universe – tentatively called Halo: Chronicles . On 27 July 2009, in an interview about his new movie (as producer) District 9, he announced that Halo: Chronicles had been cancelled, while Microsoft confirmed that the game is "on hold". In July 2009 Jackson's game studio Wingnut Interactive were said to be at work on original intellectual property. [91] As of August 2023, there are no games released nor developed by Wingnut Interactive.

Charitable activities

In 2006, Jackson gave NZ$500,000 to embryonic stem cell research. [92] He purchased a church in the Wellington suburb of Seatoun for $1.06 million, saving it from demolition. [93] [94] He also contributes his expertise to 48HOURS, a New Zealand film-making competition, through annually selecting 3 "Wildcards" for the National Final.

Jackson, a World War I aviation enthusiast, is chair of the 14–18 Aviation Heritage Trust. [95] He donated his services and provided replica aircraft to create a 10-minute multimedia display called Over the Front for the Australian War Memorial in 2008. [96] He contributed to the defense fund for the West Memphis Three. [97] In 2011, Jackson and Walsh purchased 1 Kent Terrace, the home of BATS Theatre in Wellington, effectively securing the theatre's future. [98]

In 2012 Jackson supported the American Red Cross "Zombie Blood Drive" [99] together with other famous artists such as The Black Keys band members and the cast of the show The Walking Dead . [100]

Other activities

His property portfolio in 2018 was estimated at NZ$150 million. [101]

In 2009, he purchased a Gulfstream G550 jet registered ZK-KFB; his total net worth is estimated by National Business Review at NZ$450 million. [102] In early 2014 he replaced his Gulfstream G550, with a Gulfstream G650 also registered ZK-KFB. [103] In April 2014, the aircraft was used in the search for MH370. [104] [105] [106] The aircraft has subsequently been sold. Jackson owns an aircraft restoration and manufacturing company, The Vintage Aviator (based in Kilbirnie, Wellington, and at the Hood Aerodrome, Masterton), which is dedicated to World War I [107] [108] and World War II fighter planes among other planes from the 1920s and 1930s.[ citation needed ] He is chairman of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Trust, which hosts a biennial air show. [109]

He owns a scale modeling company Wingnut Wings that specializes in World War I subjects. [110] Wingnut Wings however closed in March 2020 with the ultimate fate of the company and its moulds not yet known. [111]


Jackson is known for his attention to detail, a habit of shooting scenes from many angles, a macabre sense of humour, and a general playfulness – the latter to a point that The Lord of the Rings conceptual designer Alan Lee jokingly remarked, "the film is kind of incidental, really". [112]

Jackson was a noted perfectionist on the Lord of the Rings shoot, where he demanded numerous takes of scenes, requesting additional takes by repeatedly saying, "one more for luck". [lower-alpha 1] [113] [114] Jackson is also renowned within the New Zealand film industry for his insistence on "coverage" – shooting a scene from as many angles as possible, giving him more options during editing. Jackson has been known to spend days shooting a single scene. This is evident in his work where even scenes featuring simple conversations often feature a wide array of multiple camera angles and shot-sizes as well as zooming closeups on characters' faces. One of his most common visual trademarks is shooting close-ups of actors with wide-angle lenses. [115] He was an early user of computer enhancement technology and provided digital special effects to a number of Hollywood films. [26] (p 159)

Cameo roles

Jackson is one of the lead actors in two of his films: in Bad Taste, he plays two characters named Derek and Robert, even engaging them both in a fight. [26] (p 124) In the mockumentary Forgotten Silver, he plays himself. [26] (p 129)

However, he appears in most films he directs, [116] mostly in cameos, just as director Alfred Hitchcock had done: [117] [26] (p 123) [118]

He has also made cameos in several films not directed by him. In the opening sequence of Hot Fuzz (2007), he played a demented man dressed as Father Christmas, who stabs Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg) in the hand. [122]

Jackson's eldest son, Billy (born 1995), has made cameo appearances in almost every one of his father's films since his birth, namely The Frighteners, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, King Kong, The Lovely Bones, and the third film of The Hobbit trilogy. His daughter, Katie (born 1996), appears in all the above films except The Frighteners. And partner Fran Walsh makes a short cameo in The Frighteners as a woman walking next to Cyrus and Stuar just prior the scene featuring their son Billy. [123] [ full citation needed ]

Other appearances

Jackson had a cameo on the HBO show Entourage on 5 August 2007 episode, "Gary's Desk", in which he offers a business proposal to Eric Murphy, manager to the lead character, Vincent Chase. [124]

Jackson appears as himself in the 2013 Doctor Who 50th anniversary spoof The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot , alongside Sir Ian McKellen. [125]

Jackson appears as himself in the 2019 episode "Dogfight Derby" of Savage Builds. [126]

Personal life

Jackson and his partner, Dame Fran Walsh, a New Zealand screenwriter, film producer, and lyricist, have two children, Billy (born 1995) and Katie (born 1996). Walsh has contributed to all of Jackson's films since 1989, as co-writer since Meet the Feebles , and as producer since The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring . She won three Academy Awards in 2003, for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song, for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King . She has received seven Oscar nominations. [127]

Jackson is an avid aviation enthusiast and owns a collection of over 40 airworthy World War I-era warbirds housed at Hood Aerodrome near Masterton, [128] and a Gulfstream G650 in Wellington. [129] Jackson also owns the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. [130] He is also interested in building scale models and owns a company that makes models of World War I aircraft. [131] Wingnut Wings, his model making company, has stopped producing kits as of 2020; however, the future of the company is unknown. [111]

As well as this, Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre presents the Knights of the Sky exhibition, featuring Jackson's own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. This story of aviation in the Great War is brought to life in sets created by the internationally acclaimed talent of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop. [132] [133]

Jackson received some criticism during the 2019 Wellington City Council Elections, with his support for then-city councillor Andy Foster. Foster won the election against then incumbent mayor Justin Lester by 62 votes, with critics noting Jackson's public support and $30,000 of funding to Foster's election campaign being pivotal for Foster's victory. [134] Both Jackson and Foster had criticised the previous city council's decision to support property development at Shelly Bay. [135]

Awards and honours

Awards and nominations

1995 Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay Heavenly Creatures Nominated
2002 Best Picture The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2003 Best Picture The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
Best DirectorWon
Best Adapted ScreenplayWon
2010 Best Picture District 9 Nominated
1995 Australian Film Institute Awards Best Foreign Film Heavenly CreaturesNominated
2002The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingWon
2003The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersWon
2004The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
2002 British Academy Film Awards Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingWon
Best Direction Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2003 Best FilmThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
Best DirectionNominated
2004 Best FilmThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
Best DirectionNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayWon
2019 Best Documentary They Shall Not Grow Old Nominated
2002 Critics' Choice Awards Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
2006 King Kong Nominated
2002 Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directing – Motion Pictures The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
2002 Empire Awards Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingNominated
2006 King KongNominated
2013 The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyNominated
2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugNominated
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesNominated
2002 Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
Best Director Nominated
2003 Best Motion Picture – DramaThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
Best DirectorNominated
2004 Best Motion Picture – DramaThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
Best DirectorWon
2006 Best DirectorKing KongNominated
1993New Zealand Film and TV AwardsBest Director – Film Braindead Won
Best Screenplay – FilmWon
1995Best Director – FilmHeavenly CreaturesWon
2022 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series The Beatles: Get Back Won
Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program The Beatles: Get Back(for "Part 3: Days 17–22")Won
2002 Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Picture The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
2010 District 9Nominated
2012 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Won
2022 Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television The Beatles: Get BackWon
2004 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Maltin Modern Master Award Won
1997 Saturn Awards Best Director The Frighteners Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
2002 Best DirectorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingWon
Best WritingNominated
2003 Best DirectorThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersNominated
Best WritingNominated
2004 Best DirectorThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingWon
Best WritingWon
2006 Best DirectorKing KongWon
Best WritingNominated
2013 Best Director The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Nominated
2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Nominated
Best WritingNominated
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Nominated
1995 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Original Screenplay Heavenly CreaturesNominated
2002 Best Adapted Screenplay The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingNominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingNominated
2021 Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award [136] Won

As director

Since 1994's Heavenly Creatures Peter Jackson's films have enjoyed success in the annual awards season, earning many nominations and winning several awards; The Frighteners being his only fictional directed effort since 1994 not to be nominated for an Academy Award. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful trilogies of all time in terms of awards, winning more Academy Awards than the Francis Ford Coppola directed Godfather Trilogy , with 2003's The Return of the King winning in all 11 categories for which it was nominated including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay. Jackson's films have fared extremely well in the technical categories as well as the major categories; all three Lord of the Rings pictures as well as King Kong won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in their respective years. In total Jackson's directed efforts have been the most awarded films at three separate Academy Award ceremonies, the 74th, 76th, and 78th.

YearFilm Academy Award Nominations Academy Award Wins Golden Globe Nominations Golden Globe Wins BAFTA Nominations BAFTA Wins
1987 Bad Taste
1989 Meet the Feebles
1992 Braindead
1994 Heavenly Creatures 1
1995 Forgotten Silver
1996 The Frighteners
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 1344135
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 622103
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 111144125
2005 King Kong 43231
2009 The Lovely Bones 112
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 33
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 32
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 11
2018 They Shall Not Grow Old [lower-alpha 3] 1


In the 2002 New Year Honours, Jackson was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM), for services to film. [137] In the 2010 New Year Honours, he was promoted to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM), also for services to film. [138] The investiture ceremony took place at Premier House in Wellington on 28 April 2010. [139] [140]

In 2006, Jackson received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. [141] His Golden Plate was presented by Awards Council member Steven Spielberg. [142]

In the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, Jackson was awarded New Zealand's highest civilian honour as Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ), this for services to New Zealand. [143] [144] [145]

In 2016, Jackson was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. [146]


Short film

1976 The Valley YesYesYesCameo: Prospector #4
also cinematographer, editor, makeup designer, costume designer, and special effects supervisor
1992 Valley of the Stereos NoNoYes
2003 The Long and Short of It NoNoexecutiveRole: Bus driver
2008 Crossing the Line YesYesNo

Feature film

YearTitle Director Writer Producer Notes
1987 Bad Taste YesYesYesAlso editor, makeup effects supervisor
and special effects supervisor
1989 Meet the Feebles YesYesYesAlso camera operator and puppet maker
1992 Braindead YesYesNoAlso stop motion animator
1994 Heavenly Creatures YesYesYes
1996 Jack Brown Genius NoYesYes
The Frighteners YesYesYes
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring YesYesYes
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers YesYesYes
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King YesYesYes
2005 King Kong YesYesYesAlso collaborated with game designer Michel Ancel
on the video game adaptation
2009 District 9 NoNoYes
The Lovely Bones YesYesYes
2011 The Adventures of Tintin NoNoYesAlso second unit director
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey YesYesYes
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug YesYesYes
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies YesYesYes
2018 Mortal Engines NoYesYes
2024 The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim NoNoExecutive

Documentary film

1995 Forgotten Silver YesYesNoCo-directed with Costa Botes
2008 Over the Front: The Great War in the Air [147] YesYesYesDocumentary short
2012 West of Memphis NoYesNo
2018 They Shall Not Grow Old YesYesNo
2021 The Beatles: Get Back YesYesNoTV series
2022 The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert YesYesNo

Music video

2023 The Beatles "Now and Then"

Acting roles


1987 Bad Taste Derek and Robert
1989 Meet the Feebles Audience Member in the Theater wearing "Bad Taste" MaskUncredited
Worzel Gummidge Down Under Speaking role playing as JockAlso worked on special effects
1992 Braindead Undertaker's assistantUncredited
1994 Heavenly Creatures Bum outside theater
1995 Forgotten Silver Himself
1996 The Frighteners Man with piercingsUncredited
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Albert Dreary eating carrot / portrait of Bungo Baggins
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Rohan warrior throwing spear at the gate of Helms Deep
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Pirate being shot by legolas at Umbar
2007 Hot Fuzz Thief dressed as Father Christmas
2009 The Lovely Bones Man at pharmacy
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Dwarf fleeing from Smaug
2013 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Himself
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Albert Dreary eating carrotUncredited
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Painting of Bungo Baggins
2018 Mortal Engines Sooty Pete


2007 Entourage Himself"Gary's Desk"
2023 The Muppets Mayhem "Track 7: Eight Days a Week"Uncredited cameo
The Simpsons "Thirst Trap: A Corporate Love Story"Voice role

See also


  1. Christopher Lee remarked about having twelve takes for one scene, and later he was told by Ian McKellen he did 24 takes for two lines the previous day.
  2. Jackson and Walsh point this out in the DVD commentary of the film's extended edition.
  3. Because its release date did not match their deadlines, They Shall Not Grow Old was ineligible for the Academy Awards; the Golden Globe Awards do not reward documentaries.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King</i> 2003 film by Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Jackson. It is based on 1955's The Return of the King, the third volume of the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The sequel to 2002's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the film is the third installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm, and Sean Bean. Continuing the plot of the previous film, Frodo, Sam and, Gollum make their final way toward Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, unaware of Gollum's true intentions, while Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and, their allies join forces against Sauron and his legions from Mordor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wētā Workshop</span> New Zealand special effects company

Wētā Workshop is a special effects and prop company as well as video game developer based in Miramar, Wellington, in New Zealand, that produces effects for television and film. The company is named after the New Zealand wētā, one of the world's largest insects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Howard Shore</span> Canadian film score composer (born 1946)

Howard Leslie Shore is a Canadian composer, conductor and orchestrator noted for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 80 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. He won three Academy Awards for his work on The Lord of the Rings, with one being for the song "Into the West", an award he shared with Eurythmics lead vocalist Annie Lennox and writer/producer Fran Walsh, who wrote the lyrics. He is a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979, and collaborated with Martin Scorsese on six of his films.

The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy of epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by British author J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). Produced and distributed by New Line Cinema with the co-production of WingNut Films, the films feature an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, and Sean Bean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fran Walsh</span> New Zealand screenwriter and producer

Dame Frances Rosemary Walsh is a New Zealand screenwriter and film producer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philippa Boyens</span> New Zealand screenwriter

Philippa Jane Boyens is a New Zealand screenwriter who co-wrote the screenplay for The Lord of the Rings series, King Kong, The Lovely Bones, and the three-part film series The Hobbit.

<i>King Kong</i> (2005 film) 2005 film by Peter Jackson

King Kong is a 2005 epic adventure monster film co-written, produced, and directed by Peter Jackson. It is the ninth entry in the King Kong franchise and the second remake of the 1933 film of the same title, the first being the 1976 remake. The film stars Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody. Set in 1933, it follows the story of an ambitious filmmaker who coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island. There they encounter prehistoric creatures and a legendary giant gorilla known as Kong, whom they capture and take to New York City.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Taylor (filmmaker)</span> New Zealand filmmaker

Sir Richard Leslie Taylor is the founder, creative director and head of New Zealand film prop and special effects company Wētā Workshop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoff Murphy</span> New Zealand filmmaker

Geoffrey Peter Murphy was a New Zealand filmmaker, producer, director, and screenwriter best known for his work during the renaissance of New Zealand cinema that began in the second half of the 1970s. His second feature Goodbye Pork Pie (1981) was the first New Zealand film to win major commercial success on its soil. Murphy directed several Hollywood features during the 1990s, before returning to New Zealand as second-unit director on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Murphy was also a scriptwriter, special effects technician, schoolteacher and trumpet player at different times. He was married to Merata Mita, a film director, actor, writer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">WingNut Films</span> New Zealand production company

WingNut Films Productions Ltd is a New Zealand production company based in Wellington, with other offices in Hollywood, United States, London, United Kingdom, and Melbourne, Australia; notably for producing and collaborating predominantly with filmmaker Peter Jackson, especially on The Lord of the Rings. WingNut Films also has produced at Pinewood Studios in England. Its US subsidiary is WingNut Films, Inc.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bret McKenzie</span> New Zealand actor and musician

Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie is a New Zealand musician, comedian, music supervisor, and actor. He is best known as one half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Jemaine Clement. In the 2000s, the duo's comedy and music became the basis of a BBC radio series and then an oft-lauded American television series, which aired for two seasons on HBO. Active since 1998, the duo released their most recent comedy special, Live in London, in 2018.

James William Arthur "Jamie" Selkirk is a film editor and producer who has worked primarily in New Zealand. He is particularly noted for his work on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which he co-produced with Peter Jackson. He received the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for the last film of the trilogy, The Return of the King (2003).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Park Road Post</span>

Park Road Post Production is an international film and television post-production facility located in Miramar, a suburb of Wellington, New Zealand. Built out of the state-owned National Film Unit (NFU), the new facility opened upon completion in 2005. Park Road is owned by WingNut Films, the production company of Sir Peter Jackson. Its premises cover some 10,200 m2 (110,000 ft2).

Christian Rivers is a New Zealand storyboard artist, visual effects supervisor, special effects technician, and director. He first met Peter Jackson as a 17-year-old, and storyboarded all of Jackson's films since Braindead. He made his directing debut in the film adaptation of Mortal Engines, and planning a remake of The Dam Busters, both produced by Peter Jackson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jed Brophy</span> New Zealand actor

Jed Brophy is an actor from New Zealand. He has appeared in several of Peter Jackson's films, including Braindead, Heavenly Creatures, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and King Kong. Brophy also appears as the dwarf Nori in The Hobbit films.

The production of The Lord of the Rings film series posed enormous challenges, both logistical and creative. Under Peter Jackson's direction, these obstacles were overcome between 1997 and 2004. Many attempts to produce J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings had failed; the few that had reached the screen were animations. Since the publication of the source novels in the mid-1950s, many filmmakers and producers had considered a film but then set the project aside. The series as filmed by Jackson consists of three epic fantasy adventure films. They were produced by New Line Cinema, assisted by WingNut Films. The cinema versions appeared between 2001 and 2003, and the extended edition for home video in 2004. Development began in August 1997. The films were shot simultaneously. Their production was undertaken entirely in Jackson's native New Zealand. It spanned the 14-month period from October 1999 until December 2000, with pick-up shots filmed over a further 24 months, from 2001 to 2003.

David Long is a musician, composer and producer. In 2020 he won best score at the APRA Silver Scrolls for the BBC drama series, The Luminaries. He composes mainly for film and television but also contemporary dance. He has worked on all of Peter Jackson’s films of the last two decades. He performs with two bands, The Labcoats and Teeth.

<i>The Hobbit</i> (film series) 2012–2014 fantasy film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson

The Hobbit is a series of three fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. The films are subtitled An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). The films are based on J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, but much of the trilogy was inspired by the appendices to his 1954–55 The Lord of the Rings, which expand on the story told in The Hobbit. Additional material and new characters were created specially for the films. The series is a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954–55), set in his fictional world of Middle-earth, have been the subject of numerous motion picture adaptations across film and television.

<i>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey</i> 2012 film by Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro. It is based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit trilogy is the first installment in acting as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.


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