The Hobbit director gets Hollywood star

The Hobbit director gets Hollywood star
From left: Actors Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Director Peter Jackson, actors Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood and Lee Pace attend a ceremony honoring Jackson with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

LOS ANGELES - Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on Monday.

He was joined by key cast members from his blockbuster J. R. R. Tolkien films, The Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) and The Hobbit.

Actors Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Richard Armitage, (Thorin Oakenshield), Lee Pace (Thranduil) and Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) were on hand to help honour the Oscar-winning film-maker.

"Welcome to Middle Earth. Otherwise known as Hollywood, California," said Los Angeles city councillor Mitch O'Farrell at the ceremony, attended by hundreds of screaming fans in Hollywood Boulevard.

"You really are one of the greatest film-makers on the planet," Serkis told the 53-year-old New Zealand-born director in a short speech before he received his star.

Jackson was honoured nine days before the United States release of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, which is the final movie in The Hobbit trilogy. A red-carpet premiere was to be held in Hollywood yesterday.

Meanwhile, Jackson and his co-creators of Five Armies admitted that they have taken a few liberties for the movie, but they said it was all for in a good cause.

A new character, the female elf warrior Tauriel, who does not appear in Tolkien's fantasy novel, turned up in the second Hobbit movie and is back in Five Armies.

The character played by Canadian Lilly was created to give young girls a way into the overwhelmingly male-dominated plot, Jackson and screenwriter Philippa Boyens told Reuters.

"Now they'll know how to kill Orcs," Jackson joked in a joint interview with Boyens after the London world premiere.

"We have probably committed atrocities with the canon," said Boyens, who with Fran Walsh won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for the last movie in the LOTR series, based on the trilogy Tolkien wrote after The Hobbit.

She was responding to criticism from "Tolkien scholars", as well as reports that Tolkien's son Christopher - who edited his father's posthumously-published The Silmarillion, the only one of Tolkien's Middle Earth fantasy books that has not been filmed - dislikes the movies.

"But there's two things to be said to that, really. One is we've brought an awful lot of people to these books and now they get to explore that.

"And second, Professor Tolkien himself said that he had created this mythology and he hoped other minds would come to it, because it's a myth, it's a living, breathing thing."

It may be a living myth or, perhaps, a fire-breathing one, which is what the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon Smaug brings to the films, but Jackson sees little chance of making more Middle Earth movies beyond a director's "extended cut".

He said the only contact he has had with Christopher Tolkien was when he started filming the LOTR trilogy 17 years ago, offering to meet "to say hi".

"He said, 'No, I don't want to meet you' and that's the first and last communication we've ever had with him," Jackson said, adding that some of Tolkien's grandchildren had nevertheless made cameo appearances in the films.

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