Weinstein Almost Derailed “Lord of the Rings”

Author Ian Nathan has released a new book this week which, in one part, details how disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein tried to derail Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The excerpt, printed in The Guardian, says Weinstein insisted that “The Lord of the Rings” be one streamlined feature film instead of the series that Jackson was developing and were concerned he ‘wasted’ $12 million on developing multiple films.

Weinstein reportedly threatened to replace the then-relatively unknown director with “Pulp Fiction” filmmaker Tarantino if Jackson didn’t fall into line.

Jackson confirmed the account by showing a memo from 1998 that was written by Miramax development head Jack Lechner demanding a “more radical, streamlined approach” to tell the story in one film. Jackson says:

“It was literally guaranteed to disappoint every single person that has read that book. We’d rather have our lives and do our films and not deal with all this crap anymore. Tell Harvey to go ahead and make his film and good luck.”

Weinstein was eventually persuaded to allow Jackson to sell his pitch for a multiple-film series, which was picked up by New Line Cinema – and became three critically acclaimed blockbusters that started a phenomenon.