Lord of the Rings: Elijah Wood Reflects Harvey Weinstein Orc Mask
The journey to get the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy made was almost as epic as the films themselves, and if a certain executive had his way, it would never panned out the way it did. Appearing on the Armchair Expert podcast (via The Hollywood Reporter), Elijah Wood, who played the main protagonist Frodo, talked with hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman about the process of making the films with the creative clash between Jackson, partner Fran Walsh, and Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein.
"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,'" Shepard said with Wood confirming the accounts. "The window of time was insane," Wood said. "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.'"
Jackson then met with New Line Cinema's Bob Shaye, who agreed LOTR should be a trilogy. Production slipped in an extra Easter Egg featuring the now-disgraced executive and convicted sexual predator as the films were finally being made. "It's funny; 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," 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 fuck you. I think that is OK to talk about now; the guy is fucking incarcerated. Fuck him."