One of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings orc was designed to look like the notorious producer Harvey Weinstein, according to Frodo Baggins actor Elijah Wood. The move was made as a sort of jab at the convicted criminal.
Jackson also had problems with the former Hollywood tycoon when it came to producing The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The filmmaker wanted to create at least two movies to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel to life, but Weinstein wanted him to adapt all three books in one film.
Peter Jackson Was So Pissed Off At Harvey Weinstein He Designed A LOTR Orc After Him
In a podcast interview with Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert, actor Elijah Wood revealed Peter Jackson intentionally modeled one of the orcs in The Lord of the Rings after Harvey Weinstein. He stated via The Guardian:
“It’s funny. 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—k you. I think that is OK to talk about now. The guy is f—king incarcerated. F—k him.”
The Los Angeles jury found Weinstein guilty on three counts of r*pe and s*xual assault against one victim. Eighty-five women, including prominent actresses in Hollywood, have also accused Weinstein of inappropriate behavior.
Jackson’s decision to mock Weinstein was brought about by the difficulty the producer inflicted on him while developing The Lord of the Rings movies. In fact, he also threatened to replace Jackson with Quentin Tarantino or John Madden. Wood further shared:
“The window of time was insane. They shopped it around town. Peter made a pitch video that’s pretty impressive, taken to a variety of places. Most people were balking at the notion of doing more than one film. The popular opinion was, ‘No, you have to see how [the initial movie] does and then invest the rest of your money.’”
Weinstein agreed to produce two films, but he limited the budget to $75 million. Jackson’s team had to find a way to attract other producers so they leaked the script. Bob Shaye, founder of New Line Cinema, picked up the project and also agreed to produce three movies.
“I think the lore is that they were coming with two, and it was Bob Shaye who said, ‘We have to do three,’ which is insane. An incredible risk. Miramax thought there was no chance in hell.”
The Lord of the Rings is one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time with $2.99 billion in worldwide receipts.
Peter Jackson’s Team Leaked The Lord Of The Rings Script To Find New Producers
After Harvey Weinstein hid the budget from Peter Jackson for a year and a half, the filmmaker took the matter into his own hands and did everything to save the project. Drew McWeeny, who worked for Ain’t It Cool News, revealed in his Polygon essay how the LOTR script was leaked to him by folks at WingNut and WETA studios:
“Peter Jackson had already had some contact with Ain’t It Cool at that point, and there were many people within WingNut and WETA who were also reaching out. They felt like they were creating something great, and were worried they wouldn’t be able to find a studio willing to step up.”
New Line Cinema ultimately saved and took care of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings project, though Weinstein was still credited as executive producer. The filmmaker had the freedom to helm a trilogy under the new production company.