Tarantino could have replaced Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson holds an Oscar aloft in front of a giant Oscar statuette.

Peter Jackson holds the Best Director Oscar for The Return of the King at the 2004 Academy Awards.
picture: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

Let’s be clear: If the Hollywood mega-producer-turned-convicted rapist, Harvey Weinstein, was actually fired Peter Jackson as manager of Lord of the rings and replace it Once upon a time in Hollywood‘s Quentin TarantinoHe probably wouldn’t have broken the top 100 of the most brutal things the previous Miramax head had ever done. But already Weinstein threatened to take LotR away from jackson and give it to tarantino if jackson doesn’t ramp up J.R.R. TolkienA trilogy in one 150-minute movie.

This fact comes from independentFabulous New oral history from the film industry, and it happened because Peter Jackson had a first-sight deal with Miramax when he was developing Lord of the rings Movies. According to Jackson’s manager, Ken Cummins, Weinstein was initially opposed to Jackson’s plan to make multiple films, but conflicted with Disney:

“Harvey was excited. We found that very encouraging and thought we’d have room to tell stories, just not paying attention to the political dynamic between Miramax and Disney. Disney put a budget cap on Miramax and Lord of the rings It was far above what they could obtain from a green light on their own. When Disney realized the budget and that we were going to shoot the movies back-to-back, and the director wasn’t exactly an A-list name, they made it clear that they weren’t on board. Then began the very tormenting process of Harvey who did not want to admit the release of Disney and at the same time said to Peter, “That’s what you have to do.”

The result was that Weinstein turned into a gigantic verbally abusive idiot, As he often didand demanding that massive changes be made to the project he previously approved. Again, from Kamins:

Bob Weinstein suggested it at one point We kill three hobbits. Disney does not want [the adaptation] The relationship between Peter and Miramax is strained. Harvey was going from empathetic acting to turning a dime on Mr. Hyde and threatening Peter. He threatened to make Quentin Tarantino come out if Peter couldn’t do it in one two and a half hour movie –wThis was the opposite of what he initially told us he wanted.”

God only knows Tarantino had no interest in making Lord of the rings A movie, or how it would look, but it clearly went well. Weinstein allowed Jackson to shop LotR to other studios, which almost certainly have more to do with Disney not wanting to pay for an expensive epic from a largely untested director. Fortunately, New Line Cinema came up with the deal, and suggested Jackson turn his two-film project into a trilogy.

Entire oral history Worth readingand filled with tales from Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, John Rhys Davis, Orlando Bloom, and more. My favorite is this one about Notoriously badass Sir Christopher Lee, who is reported to have served in England’s Office of Special Operations during World War II, a top-secret organization whose missions included sabotage, establishing resistance armies in occupied territories, and assassination. This incredible anecdote comes from actor Dominic Monaghan, who played Mary in the movies: “I once watched him take a pen and throw it on a tree and it’s stuck in the tree like a knife.”

I think Bob Ordesky, producer of New Line Cinema, describes it best: “Christopher Lee was the best dinner guest you’ll ever have. His dullest story is someone else’s best.”

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