Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein allegedly threatened to fire American filmmaker Peter Jackson and replace him with Quentin Tarantino in the trilogy The Lord of The Rings (2001-2003), according to British screenwriter Ian Nathan’s new book, reported The Guardian.
Nathan revealed in his book Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson & The Making of Middle-Earth that Weinstein had threatened to fire Jackson if he did not compress JRR Tolkien’s trilogy into one single film. “Harvey was like, ‘you’re either doing this or you’re not. You’re out. And I got Quentin ready to direct it’,” Ken Kamins, a producer who worked for Weinstein on the film, told the author.
Jackson told Nathan that he had received a memo dated June 17, 1998, from the development head of Weinstein’s company Miramax, asking for “a more radical, streamlined approach”, according to The Guardian report. Compressing the popular trilogy into a two-hour film “was literally guaranteed to disappoint every single person that has read that book”, Jackson told Nathan. The filmmaker decided against it and informed Kamins that he and his partner Fran Walsh would rather do their own films and “not deal with all this crap anymore”.
The film was later produced by New Line Cinema. Jackson’s trilogy went on to win 17 Academy Awards, including a Best Director honour for Jackson for the third film, The Return of the King (2003).
In the wake of revelations of Weinstein’s sexually predatory behaviour, Jackson revealed that he had dropped Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from the trilogy after Weinstein’s company Miramax claimed that the actresses were “a nightmare to work with”. Both actresses say they were being punished for rebuffing Weinstein’s advances.