It’s one of the most celebrated franchises in film history that continues to be beloved by fans or fantasy, but few know about the connection between Harvey Weinstein and the Lord of the Ring antagonists, the Orcs. The acclaimed book series was turned into several films released from 2001 to 2003, and in a recent interview with Dax Shepherd on his Armchair Expert podcast, Elijah Wood made a startling revelation that has fans revisiting the award-winning films.
While Wood is not the first cast member to mention this topic, he is the latest Lord of the Rings star to speak about it openly. Apparently, the films came eerily close to not being made.
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According to the story, Miramax purchased the rights to the J.R.R. Tolkien classics and although they initially invested millions into production, filmmakers Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh were running into snags. They were apparently frustrated that their vision was not aligning with what Miramax had in mind, so Jackson and Walsh asked Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein if they would shop the film to another studio to get the job done.
Shepherd recalled the story and Wood confirmed it to be true. “And Miramax said, ‘We will only give it back to you in turnaround, but two things have to happen. One, you have to go get it set up this weekend; and two, whoever agrees has to agree to make all three at once,’” said Shepherd.
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That turnaround time was reportedly set to make it impossible for another studio to agree, however, Jackson found a light at the end of the tunnel with New Line Cinema and the rest is history. Wood recalled his castmate Sean Astin [Samwise] revealing his first memory of being on set.
“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,” said Wood. “I think that is okay to talk about now, the guy is f*cking incarcerated. F*ck him.” Listen to Elijah Wood on Armchair Expert below.