“I’m shooting this f**king film and I’m doing the best job I can”: One Legendary Lord of the Rings Scene Almost Made New Line Boss Sue Peter Jackson

Interrupting Peter Jackson while creating Lord of the Rings' epic moment didn't go well!

peter jackson, lord of the rings
credit; wikimedia commons/Paora

SUMMARY

  • Lord of the Rings stands tall as one of the most epic film trilogies to be ever created.
  • Peter Jackson recalls snapping at work at Barrie Osborne, who interrupted him for a message from a New Line executive.
  • Bob Shayne pleaded with Peter Jackson to make Lord of the Rings a successful franchise.
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Adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings book series, Peter Jackson created one of the most epic film franchises that masterfully captures the source material’s immersive world and multi-layered characters. The film’s core has the timeless themes of heroism, battles against overwhelming evil, and an epic journey of human experience. The epic saga features one of the most chilling battle scenes in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, The Battle of Helm Deep.

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A still from Lord of the Rings
Sir Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood in Lord of the Rings

However, things did not go well when Barrie Osborne was forced to share a message with the filmmaker when he was creating the legendary moment of the film. This resulted in Jackson bursting out in rage, as talking to the film’s executive over the film’s budget was the least significant task for him, at that point of time.

Peter Jackson Really “Snapped” While Filming Lord of the Rings

The Helm’s Deep scene in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring stands as one of the most iconic ones in all of the trilogies. While the film showcased the epic battle featuring Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the defenders. Peter Jackson, the film’s director was fighting his own battle.

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A still from Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Legolas during The Battle of Helm’s Deep

During an exclusive interview with Deadline, Peter Jackson opened up about how he snapped at Barrie Osborne, who was forced to share a message from the New Line’s executive when they interrupted him during the shooting of the Battle of Helm’s Deep scene.

Jackson said,

“I am on the parapet, probably with Viggo [Mortensen], and I see Barrie. It took him about 30 minutes to huff and puff his way to get on the top, and so I kept on shooting. Barrie arrives and says, ‘I have the studio, I’ve got to connect you with Michael Lynne of New Line.’ I ask why. He says, ‘Oh, he’s going to threaten to sue you and sell the house from under you to cover the cost overruns.’ Barrie was just the messenger, but it was one of the only points where I really snapped.”

A still from The Battle of Helm's Deep
A still from The Battle of Helm’s Deep

Jackson recalled how he shouted at Osborne, ordering him to tell Michael Lynne that he was “doing the best job I can,” and getting interrupted by a call like that would be the last thing on his priority list. He added,

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“I said, ‘Just tell Michael Lynne that I’m shooting this f**king film and I’m doing the best job I can, and I’m not going to interrupt my day with a phone call like that.’ Barrie picked up the cellphone and made his way back down to the car and drove off.”

After Peter Jackson gave his reply to the executive, the production of the film was smoother. Needless to say, the film was a smash-hit blockbuster, grossing $891.2 million at the worldwide box office, as per The Numbers.

Peter Jackson Recalls How The First Film’s Success Was Extremely Important

In the same interview with Deadline, the filmmaker recalled how after the production of the first film, he flew to LA with the footage, which was meant to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival. He went to Shaye’s house for the screening, but before he could play, Bob Shaye took the director to the bathroom, and pleaded with him for the film’s success. Jackson recalled,

“Before it started, Bob signaled to me with his finger, you know, ‘Come with me.’ I followed him, and we went into a bathroom, he shut the door. I’m there alone in a bathroom with Bob Shaye thinking, what the hell is this? He looked at me and he said, ‘Please, Peter, please, we have all these partners, they’re relying on the success of this film. If it doesn’t work, they’re going to go under, so I just want you to know how important it is for me that we don’t let our partners down.’ And he began to cry. I mean, Bob began to sob, and it was literally the most personal moment that I ever had with him.” 

Bernard Hill as Théoden, King of Rohan in Lord of the Rings trilogy [Credit New Line Cinema]
Bernard Hill as Théoden, King of Rohan in Lord of the Rings trilogy [Credit: New Line Cinema]
Peter Jackson added that he was doing his best to create the greatest film known to humankind.

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“I just said to Bob, ‘Look, I’m doing my best, Bob. I hear you, I get it, and I understand, and I’m trying to make the best film I can.’ He really cared. He was crying not on behalf of New Line. He was crying on behalf of all the international partners that they brought on board to help finance the film, the Greens and the Hadidas, all the independent distributors that had bought into the project. He was crying on their behalf, not on his own, or his own company’s behalf.”

Well, Jackson created the greatest fictional trilogy that none could match in terms of emotions, drama, jokes and even breaking the fourth wall. The series juggles world-ending stakes, perfectly featuring the relatable theme of good vs evil, with a multidimensional plot, making it the perfect trilogy to watch.

 

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring can be streamed on Max.

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Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 900

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.