Elijah Wood, star of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, has revealed the backstory to some of the fantasy movie’s character designs. In an episode of Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, Wood explained how one of the orcs in the movies was based on Harvey Weinstein’s face – as a jab towards the convicted sex offender.
Peter Jackson and Harvey Weinstein never saw eye to eye when it came to the cinematic adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s literary epic, Lord of the Rings. Initially, the film’s rights were held at Miramax, and Weinstein wanted to condense the monumental story into a single film. Weinstein also continually threatened to replace Jackson with Quentin Tarantino and ultimately pushed the director to ask if he could shop the films at other studios.
Thankfully we were all saved from a single film Lord of the Rings deal when Jackson met with Bob Shaye at New Line Cinema, who agreed to back a trilogy. However, despite a new studio and no longer being directly involved in the movies’ development, it seems like Weinstein never really left the production.
Wood explained that on an episode of Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck) and Billy Boyd’s (Peregrin Took) podcast, The Friendship Onion, his middle earth co-star Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee) recalled seeing an orc mask that looked strikingly similar to Weinstein on set.
“It’s funny, this was recently spoken about because [Dominic Monaghan] and [Billy Boyd] have a podcast, The Friendship Onion,” Wood said. “They were talking to Sean Astin about his first memory of getting to New Zealand. 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 okay to talk about now; the guy is fucking incarcerated,” the star continued. “Fuck him.”
Currently, a Lord of the Rings prequel TV series is in the works at Amazon. The upcoming fantasy show is scheduled to release on the streaming service Amazon Prime Video on September 2, 2022. If you are after more Prime picks, here is our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime.