Q&A with Peter Jackson
Coming Soon! has a question and answer session with Peter Jackson, best known for the Lord of the Rings series and now King Kong (opening Wednesday), but who had made several low budget horror films before becoming a big name director.
CS: What was it about the 1933 "King Kong" that inspired you to become a filmmaker and to eventually do your own version? Jackson: It did inspire me to become a filmmaker, absolutely. To such a profound effect, that I saw the original "Kong" on TV when I was 9 on a Friday night, and that weekend I grabbed some plasticine and made a brontosaurus. I got my parent's Super-8 movie camera and tried to animate the plasticine dinosaur. Really it was a moment in time when I just wanted to do special effects and do monsters and creatures and ultimately led to becoming a filmmaker. I didn't really know what directing was when I was 9; it was more about monsters at that stage. The original "Kong," to me, is a wonderful piece of escapist entertainment. It has everything that's really cool about movies like a lost, remote island, a giant ape, dinosaurs, and it also has this wonderful heart and soul. It has this empathetic creature who… when I was 9 I cried at the end of the movie when he was killed on the Empire State Building. That moment of shedding tears for him has stayed with me. That level of emotional engagement and pure escapism is what I personally like about the movies. Everybody goes to the movies for different reasons, has different tastes, but for me that's a great piece of escapist entertainment. snip CS: Is the filmmaker that made such early schlock horror films as "Bad Taste" and "Dead Alive" still in you somewhere and do you think you'll ever let him out again? Jackson: Oh absolutely. One day, I hope to get to make another low budget horror film. I certainly feel that, in a way now, I want to rest and recuperate from the last ten years of filmmaking and be able to do some more interesting things. I have low budget ideas and horror movies and other types of films. It's kind of weird, but it's only just recently I've realized that for the last ten years, I've had just two projects--"Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong." We originally tried to make "King Kong" after "The Frighteners," and that was 1995 into 96, and then when that got canned, we went into "Lord of the Rings" and then back into "King Kong" again. So I've had two projects in the past ten years. It's really an exciting time to rest up and think of new ideas. CS: Are you still doing "The Lovely Bones" and have you thought about who you're going to cast as the young girl? Jackson: Yeah, we're going to have a break first and then work on the script to that.