While Peter Jackson's time at the helm of the cinematic universe of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is finally at a close after over a decade, the director is far from saying goodbye to the fantastical world that he helped put on screen.
According to LOTR set artist, Bino Smith, Peter Jackson is such a fan of Middle-earth that he's actually created a replica of Bag End built in his own backyard!
Smith talked to Stuff saying:
[Sir Peter Jackson] bought a two-storey, 1930s mansion, just out of Masterton, he got the boys up first to build this giant roof. Bag End is underground. You have to go under tunnels to get to it.
You got the house, then you go down to the wine cellar and you pull a bottle, and it opens up a door, then you step out a look down this corridor - about 35 metres, we had to create it, then you go down one part, then there's a skeleton and some bodies, then you come out to a mock 'torture chamber', then you pull a book in a bookcase and the bookcase opens, and you walk into Bag End.
This extravagant home improvement project is more than just for show. It's actually a pretty decent living situation:
His eye for detail was such that we had to build it right down to the feather, so everything is exactly the same as the movie – but it’s livable. There’s nothing like it in this world. People can stay there.
People can stay there and live out their fantasies of their childhoods, people like some of Jackson's famous friends like Spielberg and Lucas:
It's a playground. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are over here all the time. Danny DeVito is one of his best mates. And it's just for them. And they got the shelterbelt and everything.
As awesome as the end result of this sounds, it's far from finished:
Jackson has some other recreations in his tunnels, included mock castle ruins, but the project is far from complete. Started in 2002, the project sounds like it will be a lifelong one for Jackson.
In 2002 we were told there was 10 stages, and by the time I left [in 2007] we had only finished stage 4. He wants to build an airport up there, he wants to do a train track.
Between the alleged tunnels and castle ruins, it sounds like Peter Jackson has created a fun fantasy world for himself! Once the airport and train track are in place, maybe I'll be able to fly in and take a look for myself. Probably not, but maybe.