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Art & Museums

Director Jackson helping to open WWI museum

| Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, 7:49 p.m.

Director Peter Jackson says he's putting his energy into helping launch a museum to commemorate World War I after finishing his “Hobbit” movie trilogy.

If he has any plans for future blockbusters, he's not saying.

Jackson was speaking last week at his New Zealand post-production facility where he was helping host an event to promote the local film industry. Directors Jane Campion and James Cameron also attended.

Jackson is a World War I history buff who owns a number of planes from the era.

He said the plan for the Wellington museum was to open during April to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle.

He said more galleries would be opened over the coming four years to mark other battles in which New Zealanders fought.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported earlier that Jackson had been recruited by the government to curate the museum, and he was expected to gather aircraft, tanks and other artifacts from private and public collections.

“That's where most of my time is now, which is good,” Jackson said Jan 14. “It's fun. And it's free. The exhibits will be very, very interesting, and I'm enjoying it.” Jackson said he was also enjoying some rest after finishing the “Hobbit” — although he wasn't entirely done, because he was still working on an extended version for DVD release.

But he said he was happy to take a break from new film projects for a while.

“It's the first time in five years that I haven't woken up in the morning and had deadlines” he said. “... no phones ringing, screaming ‘When are we going to see this? When are we going to do that? And I'd forgotten what that's like. So I'll let that last for a little bit longer before I destroy it.”

The trilogy finale, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” has earned $545.3 million globally after opening in most places in mid-December.

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