LONDON - New films based on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien are only possible with the permission of the author's estate, Hobbit director Peter Jackson said on Tuesday.
The New Zealand director was speaking in London a day after the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, the final instalment in a trilogy that follows Jackson's successful Lord Of The Rings series.
"The Tolkien Estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien. The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings were sold by Prof Tolkien in the late 60s, the film rights," Jackson said at a press conference.
"They are the only two works of his that have ever been sold... So without the cooperation of the Tolkien Estate, there can't be any more films."
The novelist's son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, was critical of the "commercialisation" of his father's work in a 2012 interview with French newspaper Le Monde.
"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of our time," the younger Tolkien was reported as saying.
"The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialisation has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me - to turn my head away."
Working from Tolkien's notes, Jackson added storylines and characters into the film which did not appear in the original book, such as the woodland elf Tauriel, played by Lost star Evangeline Lilly.
Jackson said that he would soon be working on an extended cut of The Hobbit finale with additional material for later release.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will be screened in cinemas around the world from Wednesday.