Peter Jackson’s famed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy turns 20 this year — and star Elijah Wood has a secret to share.
The 40-year-old claimed that a monstrous orc costume was designed to look like disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein as payback for some rough negotiations regarding the flick.
Wood, who played Frodo in the film franchise, stopped by Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert” to discuss that anecdote involving the fantasy-adventure flick.
The “LOTR” franchise was based on author J. R. R. Tolkien’s books, and Weinstein’s then-production company, Miramax, bought the rights to the literature.
Jackson, 59, had a specific vision for the films. However, by the mid-1990s, it appeared that the movies weren’t going to be made the way he wanted, so the director reportedly asked Weinstein, 69, about taking them to other studios.
“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,’” according to Shepard, a professed fan of the films.
“The window of time was insane,” Wood explained. Jackson shopped it around Hollywood and wound up striking a deal with New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye, “who said, ‘We have to do three,’ which is insane,” the “Wilfred” actor continued. “An incredible risk. Miramax thought there was no chance in hell.”
But the trilogy was released in theaters from 2001 until 2003 and also spawned the prequel trilogy for “The Hobbit.”
And that’s when Wood then recalled the alleged Weinstein doppelgänger.
“It’s funny — this was recently spoken about because Dom [Monaghan] and Bill [Boyd, who played Hobbits Merry and Pippin in the movies] have a podcast, ‘The Friendship Onion.’ They were talking to Sean Astin [who played Samwise] about his first memory of getting to New Zealand,” recalled Wood. “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,” Wood joked. “F–k him.”
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual battery.
Last month, the former Weinstein Company head responded to a claim from Angelina Jolie that said she had to “escape” a meeting with him earlier in her career. “It is brazenly untrue and clickbait publicity,” Weinstein said in a statement at the time. “You’re Angelina Jolie, every male and female in the world, I’m sure, shows interest in you. Is the whole world assaulting you?”
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