The Lord of the Rings movies would have been a very different beast, had disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein had his way.
A new book which explores Peter Jackson’s blockbusting trilogy has revealed (via Stuff) that Weinstein was so against Jackson splitting J.R.R. Tolkien’s books into three movies that he threatened to fire him.
Not only that, he also plotted to bring Quentin Tarantino in to complete the job instead.
In Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson and the Making of Middle-Earth, author Ian Nathan quotes producer Ken Kamins, who reportedly said: “Harvey was like, ‘you’re either doing this or you’re not. You’re out’. And I got Quentin ready to direct it’.”
John Madden, director of Shakespeare In Love, was also apparently in the wings if Jackson didn’t play ball.
The books goes on to detail how Miramax planned to ‘streamline’ the plot, doing away with the battle of Helm’s Deep and the balrog, Eowyn replacing Faramir as Boromir’s sister, and also changing the final fate of Saruman, played eventually by Christopher Lee.
Nathan goes on to say that Jackson told him that the changes would be ‘literally guaranteed to disappoint every single person that has read that book’.
Luckily, the landscape of the production soon changed.
The Weinstein brothers ended up selling the rights to New Line Cinema, which let Jackson crack on with the movies as he had initially intended.
It paid off in spades, with the trilogy making almost $3 billion worldwide.
Peter Jackson (Credit: Getty)
But Weinstein still had his legacy, having deterred Jackson from casting both Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in the movies.
Judd and Sorvino have since accused Weinstein of sexual assault, while Judd announced this week that she is suing Weinstein for his intervention in casting her in the movies, over the damaging effect it then had on her career.
Weinstein has been accused by more than 80 women of instances sexual harassment, assault and rape spanning decades.
He denies the claims.