Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is rightly considered a masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking and one of the great movie trilogies ever. But a lot of things had to happen to get there — or not happen, in the case of Harvey Weinstein’s involvement.
The Hollywood mega-producer and convicted sex offender agreed to work with Jackson and make his The Lord of the Rings movies under the Miramax banner, but only if he condensed J.R.R. Tolkien’s source material into two films with a $75 million budget… total. “Eventually, the Weinsteins started asking for changes that Jackson and [writer and producer Fran] Walsh couldn’t make. The primary breaking point came when they asked Jackson to consolidate everything into one four-hour film,” according to Polygon. Jackson refused, so he “was free to take the film anywhere else as long as the next studio was willing to pay Miramax everything they’d already spent, as well as enough to make Harvey feel good about the time they wasted.” The Lord of the Rings ended up at New Line Cinema, where it became a Best Picture winner that made nearly $3 billion at the box office. And included a hearty “f*ck you” to Weinstein.
While appearing on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, star Elijah Wood revealed that one of the movie’s hideous orcs was made to look like Harvey. “This was recently spoken about because Dom [Monaghan] and Bill [Boyd, who played Hobbits Merry and Pippin in the trilogy] have a podcast, The Friendship Onion. They were talking to Sean Astin [who played Samwise] about his first memory of getting to New Zealand,” he said. “He had seen these orc masks. And one of the orc masks — and I remember this vividly — was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein as a sort of a f*ck you.”
Wood added, “I think that is OK to talk about now, the guy is f*cking incarcerated. F*ck him.” You can listen to the actor’s Armchair Expert episode below.