Hopkins was caught in a flash flood on Sunday (30Dec12) while rafting on the Waiohine River with his wife Nicci and a friend, and the 53 year old drowned after he fell into the water.
Jackson, who worked with Hopkins on numerous film projects over the years, has now spoken of his grief after hearing of his pal’s death, insisting he was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the tragic news.
He says, “I know I speak for the many directors, production and post-production crew who were lucky enough to work with Mike in saying that he will be terribly missed. Mike was an extraordinarily talented sound designer, editor and supervisor and thoroughly deserving multiple Oscar winner.
“Under his guidance, New Zealand became recognised as one of the leading hubs of post-production sound in the world, beyond that Mike was a very genuine, caring and warm-hearted guy with a great sense of humour. We are all mourning his passing. His family, his friends and colleagues are in our thoughts.”
A statement from Hopkins’ family reads, “Mike always had a great sense of adventure and will be sorely missed by his family and friends.”
Hopkins first teamed up with Jackson for 1992 horror-comedy Braindead and he went on to win two Academy Awards for his work on the moviemaker’s blockbusters The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers and King Kong.
A memorial service will be held in his hometown of Greytown, New Zealand on Thursday (03Jan13) followed by a private cremation.