The Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has revealed that one of the orc costumes in the films was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein.
The Hollywood producer, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence having been convicted with counts of a Criminal Sexual Act in the first degree and third-degree rape, was largely disliked by the franchise’s creatives.
Having initially owned the rights to The Lord Of The Rings films through his company Miramax, Weinstein was said to have come to creative blows with director Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh. As a result, the pair asked for the opportunity to shop the franchise around to other studios.
Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast, Wood confirmed host Dax Shepherd’s take on what happened next.
“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,’” Shepherd summarised, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“The window of time was insane,” Wood commented. “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.’”
The franchise went to New Line, which resulted in a historic production for the studio. However, Jackson still wanted to make a point of calling out Weinstein.
“One of the orc masks — and I remember this vividly — was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein as a sort of a ‘fuck you’,” said Wood.