'I want to tell Kiwi stories': Peter Jackson
While the world goes wild for Sir Peter Jackson's final outing in Middle-earth, the man himself is thinking more about his own back yard.
The Hobbit marks the end of two decades of Jackson's rise through Hollywood ranks, riding on the backs of dwarfs, elves, orcs and, of course, hairy-footed hobbits.
But becoming Tinseltown royalty hasn't turned the Wellingtonian's head. Instead, he's confirmed his next step will be smaller-scale, closer to home and continue to involve professional and personal partner Fran Walsh.
"One thing that Fran and I want to do is tackle some New Zealand stories. Heavenly Creatures was the last time we did a New Zealand story, so we're developing a couple of New Zealand-themed ideas. I don't have a five-year plan. I don't have a two-year plan. I like being organic and figuring it out as I go, so we'll see what happens in the next year. There's a few different ways it could go and that makes it exciting. But certainly that's where our hearts are - to go back into that world of slightly more low-budget, Kiwi stories."
The end of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies have been a long time coming for Jackson, and during last week's series of glitzy premieres and global screenings it's no surprise that every interview centred on how he felt to see his final depiction of Tolkein's world on the big screen.
But the 53-year-old says he's already weathered the hardest goodbyes.
"The most intensely emotional moments of farewell are when we finish shooting with the actors," he says. "It never happens on the same day. Our last day of the shoot we had Richard [Armitage], Aidan [Turner], and Dean [O'Gorman] - everyone else had gone.
"We were farewelling each cast member as they had their final day and those are the days which are the hardest, because even though you're going to stay friends with these people, you're not going to see [characters like] Galadriel again. It's nice to sit next to Cate [Blanchett], but sitting next to Galadriel is pretty cool, too.
"Ian McKellen was probably the hardest, having been through the whole thing with him. Ian was in a melancholic mood when we did the last shot he was ever going to do as Gandalf. It was like, 'You're done. You're finished. We're going to see you again, but Gandalf is finished'.
"Those, to me, are the most intense moments of closure, rather than seeing the movie."
Along with Blanchett and McKellen, Orlando Bloom has also been by Jackson's side throughout the 17-year, six-film film-making journey.
"What was amazing about coming back and doing The Hobbit is that we got to create a back-story, which was really fun."
That back-story sees Legolas immersed in the heart of the battle in TBOFA, which at two hours and 10 minutes clocks in as the shortest in Jackson's Middle-earth films - albeit packed with highly-anticipated battle sequences.
"The whole movie is tense - it's got a thriller feel to it," Jackson says. "And with battles you can kill off people, so we possibly have characters dying in this film. We can afford to have some emotion that we haven't seen in The Hobbit yet."
Jackson says he often ponders whether his Oscar-winning movies will eventually be tackled by other filmmakers.
"I've always wondered whether, in my lifetime, we're going to see The Lord of the Rings film remade or The Hobbit remade. How long will it last or survive until someone remakes it? It will be interesting to see."