Peter Jackson: New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and film producer (1961-) | Biography
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Peter Jackson
New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and film producer

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and film producer
A.K.A. Sir Peter Jackson, Peter Robert Jackson, Sir Peter Robert Jackson
Is Film director Film producer Screenwriter Writer Film editor Actor
From New Zealand
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature
Gender male
Birth 31 October 1961, Wellington, New Zealand
Age 61 years
Star sign Scorpio
Spouse: Fran Walsh
Children: Billy Jackson (bowler)Katie Jackson
The details (from wikipedia)


Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He is best known as the director, writer, and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. Other films include the critically lauded drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), the mockumentary film Forgotten Silver (1995), the horror comedy The Frighteners (1996), the epic monster remake film King Kong (2005), the supernatural drama film The Lovely Bones (2009), and the World War I documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). He produced District 9 (2009), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), West of Memphis (2012), and Mortal Engines (2018). He is the third-highest grossing film director of all-time, his films having made over $6.5 billion worldwide.

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 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 the award for Best Director. His other awards include a Golden Globe, four Saturn Awards and three BAFTAs 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 New Zealand Order of Merit) by 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.

Early life

Jackson was born on 31 October 1961 in Wellington and was raised at the nearby coastal town of Pukerua Bay. His parents—Joan (née Ruck), a factory worker and housewife, and William "Bill" Jackson, a wages clerk—were emigrants from England.

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. Also, as a child Jackson made a WWII 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. Most notable though was a 20-minute short called The Valley, which won him a special prize because of the shots he used.

In school, Jackson expressed no interest in sports. His classmates also remember him wearing a duffle 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. 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.

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." Jackson said the 1970 film Waterloo inspired him in his youth. Other influences include George Romero, Sam Raimi and the special effects by Ray Harryhausen.


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 in the 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). In May 1987, Bad Taste was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival, where rights to the film quickly sold to twelve countries.

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. 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.

Jackson's next film to see release was Meet the Feebles (1989), co-written with Sinclair, Walsh and Mulheron. An ensemble musical comedy starring Muppet-style puppets, Meet the Feebles originally began as a short film intended for television, but was rapidly expanded into a full-length film after unanticipated enthusiasm from Japanese investors, and the collapse of Braindead, six weeks before filming. 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." Feebles marked Jackson's first collaboration with special effects team Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, who would later work on all Jackson's movies. Jackson's next release was the horror comedy Braindead (1992) (released in North America as Dead Alive).

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 film is based on the real Parker–Hulme murder case in which two teenage girls in 1950s Christchurch became close friends and later murdered the mother of one of the girls. It was Fran Walsh that persuaded him that these events had the makings of a movie; Jackson has been quoted saying that the film "only got made" because of her enthusiasm for the subject matter. The film's fame coincided with the New Zealand media tracking down the real-life Juliet Hulme, who now writes books under the name Anne Perry. Jackson hired actresses Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet in the roles of Parker and Hulme. Heavenly Creatures received considerable critical acclaim, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and making top ten of the year lists in Time, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The New Zealand Herald. The success of Heavenly Creatures won Jackson attention from US company Miramax, who promoted the film vigorously in America and signed the director to a first-look deal.

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. 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.

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.

The Frighteners was regarded as a box office failure. 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". 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". 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.

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. In the Metro article Jackson criticized the Commission over funding decisions concerning a film he was hoping to executive produce, but refused to drop a client-confidentiality clause that allowed them to publicly reply to his criticisms.

The Lord of the Rings

Jackson in 2003, at the premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in Wellington

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

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 eleven Oscars, 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.

Following The Return of the King, Jackson lost a large amount of weight, over 50 pounds (23 kg). In The Daily Telegraph, he attributed his weight loss to his diet. He said, "I just got tired of being overweight and unfit, so I changed my diet from hamburgers to yogurt and muesli and it seems to work."

King Kong

Universal Studios signed Jackson for a second time to remake the 1933 classic King Kong—the film that inspired him to become a film director as a child. He was reportedly paid a fee of US$20 million upfront, the highest salary ever paid to date to a film director in advance of production, against a 20 percent take of the box-office rentals (the portion of the price of the ticket that goes to the film distributor, in this case Universal). The film was released on 14 December 2005, and grossed around US$550 million worldwide. 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 received critical acclaim and was a commercial success.

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 Reduser.net.

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. 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 bears some similarities to Heavenly Creatures. The film ended up receiving generally mixed reviews and middling box office returns.

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. 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...". This prompted an online call for a boycott of New Line Cinema, and by August 2007 Shaye was trying to repair his working relationship. 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.

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

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.

They Shall Not Grow Old

On 16 October 2018 Jackson's documentary film about the soldiers of the First World War, They Shall Not Grow Old, was premiered as the Special Presentation at the BFI London Film Festival, attended by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The film was simultaneously screened in 2D and 3D at cinemas, schools and special venues across the UK. Attended by Jackson, the simulcast included a special post-screening Q&A with Jackson, hosted by film critic Mark Kermode. 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.

The film was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC. Produced by WingNut Films and Executive Produced by House Productions, it was supported by the UK's National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Jackson himself, whose own grandfather fought in the war and to whom the film is co-dedicated, said before the screening: "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."

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.

The film was broadcast on BBC Two on 11 November 2018.

Mortal Engines

In late December 2009, Jackson announced his interest in a film adaptation of the novel Mortal Engines. 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. It stars Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Leila George, Ronan Raftery, and Stephen Lang. It premiered on 27 November 2018 in London, received negative reviews and was a box-office bomb.

Current and future projects

The Dam Busters

Jackson was set to produce a remake of The Dam Busters, to be directed by longtime Weta designer Christian Rivers. Stephen Fry has written a screenplay. Originally scheduled for filming by 2009, the project has been postponed. However, Jackson still holds movie rights as of October 2017.


Jackson and his newly formed studio Wingnut Interactive have worked on a project being developed by Microsoft Game Studios in collaboration with Bungie; the project is officially titled Halo: Chronicles but little else is known about its nature.

Jackson was set to produce a $128 million movie version of the science fiction video game series Halo to be developed and released by Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox. In October 2006, the film was postponed indefinitely when financial backers withdrew their support, although it was never officially cancelled. In June 2008, Jackson commented that, "With upcoming developments (Halo: Chronicles), I wouldn't know when to expect a movie, and I'm the producer." Instead, Jackson worked with Halo's planned director Neill Blomkamp on science fiction project District 9, which proved a box office hit and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.


In 2006, Jackson also won the rights to a film adaptation of the fantasy novel series Temeraire, a novel written by Naomi Novik about dragons being used in combat in the Napoleonic Wars. However, as of 24 February 2016, Novik confirmed during a Reddit AMA that the rights reverted to her, and that there are no current plans for any adaptations.

Tintin franchise

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 also chose to work with Peter Jackson due to the impressive digital work on the Lord of the Rings films, 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 would be made. Spielberg said that the Thompson detectives would "have a much bigger role". The sequel would be produced by Spielberg and directed by Jackson. 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. 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. 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."

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. The following year, Anthony Horowitz, who was hired as the sequel's screenwriter even before the release of the first film, stated that he was no longer working on the sequel, and was unsure if it was still being made. In June 2016, Spielberg confirmed that the sequel was still in development, but Jackson is working on a secret project in the meantime.

Let It Be documentary

On 30 January 2019, the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' final public performance, Jackson announced that his next directorial work would be a documentary film about the making of their final album Let It Be. In a process similar to his previous film They Shall Not Grow Old, the film is 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 film will use 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.

Clare Olssen and Jabez Olssen, respectively producer and editor of They Shall Not Grow Old, are returning for this new project, with Ken Kamins, Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde as executive producers. The film is also being 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.


Jackson was set to make games with Microsoft Game Studios, a partnership announced on 27 September 2006, at X06. Specifically, Jackson and Microsoft were teaming together to form a new studio called Wingnut Interactive. 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". Jackson's game studio Wingnut Interactive is now at work on original intellectual property.

Charitable activities

Jackson has given NZ$500,000 to stem cell research. He purchased a church in the Wellington suburb of Seatoun for about $10 million, saving it from demolition. 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. 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. He contributed to the defense fund for the West Memphis Three. In 2011, Jackson and Walsh purchased 1 Kent Terrace, the home of BATS Theatre in Wellington, effectively securing the theatre's future.

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

Other activities

Jackson spent $5 million on the purchase of 20 hectares of land in Wairarapa, a property containing a mansion, private lake, tunnel and the interior of Bag End from The Lord of the Rings.

In 2009, he purchased a Gulfstream G550 jet; his total net worth is estimated by National Business Review at NZ$450 million. 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 and World War II fighter planes among other planes from the 1920s and 1930s. He is chairman of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Trust, which hosts a biennial air show.

He owns a scale modeling company Wingnut Wings that specializes in World War I subjects.


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 almost incidental really".

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". 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. He was an early user of computer enhancement technology and provided digital special effects to a number of Hollywood films.

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. In the mockumentary Forgotten Silver, he plays his own role.

However, he appears in most films he directs, mostly in cameos, just as director Alfred Hitchcock had done:

  • In Meet the Feebles, Jackson appears as an audience member disguised as one of the aliens from Bad Taste.
  • In Braindead, he is the mortician's assistant.
  • In Heavenly Creatures, he is the tramp who gets kissed by Juliet Hulme.
  • In The Frighteners, Jackson is a biker bumped into by Frank Bannister.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Jackson plays a drunken, carrot-chomping citizen of Bree when the four hobbits are entering the town.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, he plays a spear-throwing defender of Helm's Deep.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King he is seen as the boatswain of a murderous corsair ship. This character is seen very briefly in the theatrical version. In the extended version he is onscreen for a longer period and is accidentally killed by Legolas's "warning shot". A detailed action figure of Jackson was made of this character in the same line as the rest of the Lord of the Rings toys.
  • Also in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: during the scene of Shelob's Lair, where Sam's hands (i.e. Jackson's) are seen entering the shot as Shelob is wrapping Frodo in webbing. This was due to Sean Astin's temporary absence, and Jackson wanted to progress the production of the scene as much as possible, even without the actor.
  • In his 2005 King Kong he appears as a biplane gunner attacking Kong in New York, reprising the cameo which original King Kong filmmaker Merian C. Cooper made in the original 1933 film.
  • In The Lovely Bones, he appears as a customer in a camera store playing with a camera.
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Jackson plays one of the dwarves escaping from Erebor after Smaug has attacked.
  • In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, he appears as a drunken, carrot-chomping citizen of Bree, much like his appearance in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • At the end of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, when Bilbo Baggins restores the fallen portraits of his parents, Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took, to the wall from which they had fallen or been removed, Jackson and his partner have cameos as Bungo and Belladonna, as the portraits were painted in their likeness.

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.

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.

Other appearances

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

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

Personal life

Jackson and his partner 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, all for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. She has received seven Oscar nominations.

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, and a Gulfstream G650 in Wellington. He is also interested in building scale models and owns a company that makes models of World War I aircraft.

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.

Awards and honours

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title Result
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 Best Picture The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
Best Director Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Won
2010 Best Picture District 9 Nominated
2002 Australian Film Institute Awards Best Foreign Film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Won
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Won
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
2002 British Academy Film Awards Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Won
David Lean Award for Direction Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2003 Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
David Lean Award for Direction Nominated
2004 Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
David Lean Award for Direction Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Won
2002 Critics' Choice Awards Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
2006 King Kong Nominated
2002 Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directing – Motion Pictures The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
2002 Empire Awards Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Nominated
2006 King Kong Nominated
2013 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Nominated
2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Nominated
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Awards Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
2006 King Kong Nominated
1993 New Zealand Film and TV Awards Best Director – Film Braindead Won
Best Screenplay – Film Won
1995 Best Director – Film Heavenly Creatures Won
2002 Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Picture The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
2010 District 9 Nominated
2011 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Won
1997 Saturn Awards Best Director The Frighteners Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
2002 Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Won
Best Writing Nominated
2003 Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
2004 Best Director The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Won
Best Writing Won
2006 Best Director King Kong Won
Best Writing Nominated
2013 Best Director The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Nominated
2014 Best Director The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
2015 Best Writing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Nominated
1995 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Original Screenplay Heavenly Creatures Nominated
2002 Best Adapted Screenplay The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Nominated
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Nominated


In the 2002 New Year Honours, Jackson was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to film. In the 2010 New Year Honours, he was promoted to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, also for services to film. The investiture ceremony took place at Premier House in Wellington on 28 April 2010.

In 2006, Jackson received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

In the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, Jackson was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand, New Zealand's highest civilian honour.

Titles and styles

  • Mr Peter Robert Jackson 1961–2002
  • Mr Peter Robert Jackson CNZM 2002–2010
  • Sir Peter Robert Jackson KNZM 2010–2012
  • Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM 2012–present.


Collaborator Bad Taste
Meet the Feebles
Heavenly Creatures
The Frighteners
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
(2001–2003), (2012–2014)
King Kong
The Lovely Bones
Noel Appleby ☑Y 2
Richard Armitage ☑Y 3
Sean Astin ☑Y 3
John Bach ☑Y 4
Rick Baker ☑Y ☑Y 2
Sala Baker ☑Y 3
Sean Bean ☑Y 3
John Bell ☑Y 2
Manu Bennett ☑Y 3
Cate Blanchett ☑Y 6
Orlando Bloom ☑Y 5
Billy Boyd ☑Y 3
Philippa Boyens ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 8
Jed Brophy ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 10
Adam Brown ☑Y 3
Alistair Browning ☑Y 2
Bob Burns ☑Y ☑Y 2
John Callen ☑Y 3
Marton Csokas ☑Y 2
Benedict Cumberbatch ☑Y 3
Carolynne Cunningham ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 5
Stuart Devenie ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 3
Brad Dourif ☑Y 2
Luke Evans ☑Y 3
Daniel Falconer ☑Y 6
Mark Ferguson ☑Y 2
Fane Flaws ☑Y ☑Y 2
Martin Freeman ☑Y 3
Stephen Fry ☑Y 2
Ryan Gage ☑Y 2
Mark Hadlow ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 5
Craig Hall ☑Y ☑Y 2
Peter Hambleton ☑Y 3
Ken Hammon ☑Y ☑Y 2
Dan Hennah ☑Y ☑Y 7
Tony Hiles ☑Y ☑Y 2
Bernard Hill ☑Y 2
Ian Holm ☑Y 4
Bruce Hopkins ☑Y 2
Alan Howard ☑Y 2
John Howe ☑Y ☑Y 7
Stephen Hunter ☑Y 3
William Kircher ☑Y 3
Alan Lee ☑Y ☑Y 7
Christopher Lee ☑Y 5
Andrew Lesnie ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 8
Evangeline Lilly ☑Y 2
Melanie Lynskey ☑Y ☑Y 2
Lawrence Makoare ☑Y 3
Robyn Malcolm ☑Y ☑Y 2
Sylvester McCoy ☑Y 3
Ian McKellen ☑Y 6
Bret McKenzie ☑Y 3
Peter McKenzie ☑Y ☑Y 2
Sarah McLeod ☑Y 2
Graham McTavish ☑Y 3
Mark Mitchinson ☑Y 2
Dominic Monaghan ☑Y 3
Elizabeth Moody ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 3
Viggo Mortensen ☑Y 3
James Nesbitt ☑Y 3
Mary Nesbitt ☑Y 3
Peggy Nesbitt ☑Y 3
John Noble ☑Y 2
Paul Norell ☑Y 2
Terry Notary ☑Y 3
Dean O'Gorman ☑Y 3
Jabez Olssen ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 7
Barrie M. Osborne ☑Y 3
Miranda Otto ☑Y 2
Lee Pace ☑Y 3
Craig Parker ☑Y 3
Sarah Peirse ☑Y ☑Y 3
Mikael Persbrandt ☑Y 2
Rick Porras ☑Y ☑Y 4
John Rhys-Davies ☑Y 3
Todd Rippon ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 3
Christian Rivers ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 11
Thomas Robins ☑Y 3
Jamie Selkirk ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 9
Brian Sergent ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 5
Andy Serkis ☑Y ☑Y 5
Kiran Shah ☑Y 6
Howard Shore ☑Y ☑Y 7
Harry Sinclair ☑Y ☑Y 3
Stephen Sinclair ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 3
Conan Stevens ☑Y 2
Ken Stott ☑Y 3
John Sumner ☑Y ☑Y 2
Richard Taylor ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 9
Royd Tolkien ☑Y 2
Aidan Turner ☑Y 3
Liv Tyler ☑Y 3
Karl Urban ☑Y 2
Stephen Ure ☑Y 4
Peter Vere-Jones ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 4
Ra Vincent ☑Y 3
Fran Walsh ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y ☑Y 12
Hugo Weaving ☑Y 5
Zane Weiner ☑Y 3
David Wenham ☑Y 2
Richard Whiteside ☑Y ☑Y 4
Elijah Wood ☑Y 4
Doug Wren ☑Y ☑Y 2
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 12 Feb 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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