"The Hobbit'" and "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson is moving away from Middle Earth.

Although he's still hard at work on the "Hobbit" trilogy, which continues in December's "Desolation of Smaug," Jackson is looking forward to a break from epic filmmaking and a return to smaller films with smaller budgets.

When asked what he and his collaborator-wife Fran Walsh are planning to do after the second Tolkein trilogy wraps, Jackson noted that they yearn to return to films in the vein of their acclaimed 1994 release "Heavenly Creatures," which starred Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey.

"We have got a few bits and pieces that we are working on, Fran and I. The things that we are most excited about are some New Zealand stories," he told The New Zealand Herald. "We just want to step off the Hollywood blockbuster thing for a while and we've had a few New Zealand stories in line for a while that we think would make great films. The 'Heavenly Creatures' mode really."

"But one thing has led to another and we have never had time," he added. "We've made a conscious decision that in the limited years we have left to make movies to tell some New Zealand stories."

Since winning best picture for 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," Jackson has directed the big budget "King Kong" and the fantasy-drama "The Lovely Bones."

He's also reportedly planning on directing the second "Tintin" movie.

Meanwhile, the three "Hobbit" films have already taken several years to realize.

"In some respects in terms of my remaining film-making career this was a five-year chunk that was kind of taken out of it unexpectedly. My future is five years less than I thought it was," Jackson explained. 

"I thought if I am going to do that I am actually going to enjoy it. I am going to have fun. Hopefully, that is reflected on the screen, too."

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" will open December 13, with "There and Back Again" following in 2014.