Virtual reality (VR) movies are rapidly growing in popularity just as they are with videogames. While several flimmakers have either released or begun work on 360 degree videos that can be viewed with the likes of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), some of the most influential people in the industry are starting to take interest in it. Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and, more recently, The Hobbit trilogy, is the latest Hollywood name to be tied to the technology.
In an interview with Variety this week following the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Armies, Jackson revealed that he was planning to spend ‘a year or two’ on a new VR project that may either end up as a movie or videogame. “We’re right on the cusp of a major upheaval of the entertainment world once that technology really kicks in,” he said. Elsewhere the director noted that he’d like to return to New Zealand, where his two famous trilogies have been shot, to tell new stories, though it wasn’t clear if this might be linked to the VR project.
The Hobbit trilogy is no stranger to VR technology, with the recent launch of The Hobbit VR Experience from cinematic VR company Jaunt. The project, available for free on the Android operating system (OS) and viewable with Google Cardboard, offeers a 360 degree view of The Shire from the movies.
Jackson himself has always been tied closely to using new technology with his movies. When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey debuted back in 2012 it used a controversial technique named High Frame Rate 3D (HFR3D), which aimed to increase immersion although many claimed did the opposite. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, then, to hear that the director is interested in VR. Just when his work with the technology might potentially be revealed in not yet clear, although the suggestion that it might take the form of a videogame is certainly intriguing.
VRFocus will continue to follow VR videogames and movies, reporting back with any developments in the industry.