Director Peter Jackson Revealed ‘The Hobbit’ Movie Pre-Production Troubles [PHOTOS]

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"Lord of the Rings" trilogy film director Peter Jackson frankly talked about the troubles he encountered before filming the much anticipated fantasy film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The Academy Award-winning director revealed that there were times he felt the film production would no longer push through.

Peter Jackson discussed "The Hobbit" film production in two cheerful media conferences held at the Te Papa Museum hours before the film's early premiere at the nearby Embassy Theatre. Jackson divulged two reasons why the movie project plans in bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's book to the big screen took nine years. First reason is the financial issues of the Hollywood studio MGM. The second reason is the conflicting work schedule of actor Martin Freeman, who portrays the character Bilbo Baggins, with the TV series "Sherlock."

The bubbly film director stated that other actors never crossed his mind in portraying the hobbit Bilbo Baggins who embarks on a journey with 13 dwarves in the latest Middle-earth trilogy. "There was a time there where I was very, very worried because we literally knew that this, if we got this piece of casting wrong, that the films were not going to work," Jackson shared.

Jackson also revealed that he felt very down and depressed when Martin Freeman decided to work on the second series of "Sherlock" rather than filming "The Hobbit." However, Peter Jackson eventually gave in and let Martin Freeman commit to his TV series project first then pursue "The Hobbit" film. "It was a pretty radical thing to do," Jackson said.

When questioned whether there was any truth to allegations about more than 20 animals, including horses, died during filming, Jackson bluntly denied the reports. "Absolutely none. No mistreatment, no abuse," Jackson said and added that those claims serve as an insult to everyone who worked hard on the film. According to Jackson, who bravely expressed his opinion, the animal rights activist group PETA is using a "pretty pathetic" move in associating their cause to the movie premiere of "The Hobbit."

With the upcoming release of his latest film, Peter Jackson admitted feeling proud and happy for his work on "The Hobbit" that will open next month in 25,000 cinemas worldwide. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is scheduled to hit cinemas on December 26 in Australia.

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