"I think it's impossible to do Tolkien. It's impossible to get the brilliance of what he wrote about -- just the medium, the book, the novel gives you other areas of imagination (that) film can't allow. Film has to describe and show. With the brilliance of his words and his scenes, you imagine whatever you want. I'm sure various people imagine different things."
But he didn't end it there. "I've had nothing to do with the live-action version. I wasn't contacted, I wasn't asked for the rights to do it, let's just put it that way. I wasn't asked for the rights to do it, no one's ever spoken to me about it. I'm kind of stunned that they are doing it. Certainly I'm wishing them all the luck in the world on a visual level".
Then, seemingly sensing how he sounded, he added, "Understand that I'm not bitching here, this is very important to me. But when you look at (the new film's) Ringwraiths flying through the forests, it's like a scene out of my movie. And I know the amount of anguish in costume design and character design and living with Tolkien's daughter, and walking around where Tolkien walked just to try to make sure that whatever I designed, these are words in a book and my job in trying to design something that would be correct for the book. I mean what does a Hobbit look like? What does a Hobbit's cloak look like? What colour is it? What's the texture of it?"
Then, the backtracking began. "I hope these guys do a better deal with it," Bakshi said. "I'm not for an instant, I'm not sitting here for a moment saying my film was good or great or worthy of Tolkien. I've never said that. I'm never going to say that. I just gave it the best shot I could, and if I did anything, I think I established some of the character design to look the way Tolkien might have liked them. His daughter certainly loved the way I designed the film. But as far as everything in the book, I can't do it, and this next guy's not going to do it. You can't do it ... even in a million movies. I'm anxiously waiting to see what these guys do with my movie! Ha ha ha ha ! Quote me! Do me a favour and quote me on that."