Peter Jackson's net worth just skyrocketed. The award-winning director, who is best known for his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy spin-off, has sold the VFX studio, Weta Digital, which was behind the stunning graphics of some of his best works.
Weta Digital now belongs to Unity
The publicly-traded tech giant, Unity, just acquired Weta Digital for $1.65 billion using a mix of stock and cash. Jackson said in a statement released by both companies that the tools created and designed by Weta Digital have allowed him to "bring to life the worlds and creatures that originally lived in our imaginations."
Peter Jackson co-founded Weta Digital alongside Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk back in 1993. The initial goal of the company was to produce digital special effects for Heavenly Creatures. In the years since then, the digital visual effects company has won several BAFTAs and Academy Awards. Weta Digital is one of several other companies that Peter Jackson co-owns that are located in Wellington. The others include Weta Productions and Park Road Post Production.
Prem Akkaraju, who joined Weta Digital as its CEO back in 2020, will retain his position, as well as Joe Marks, who currently serves as the CTO of the studio.
As part of the acquisition, Unity will have access to Weta Digital's wealth of expertise and 3D data platform and tools. More importantly, Unity will also welcome some 275 engineers into the fold, as Unity continues to further improve and refine the Unity cross-platform engine. Unity is the game engine used for upcoming games like Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Weta Digital might be best known for the award-winning special effects behind Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy, but the studio has worked on several other notable projects as well. Most recently, Weta's VFX expertise played a key role in Eternals and Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
According to the joint statement released, Unity will finalize its acquisition of Weta Digital by the end of 2021.