“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all, and in the dark bind them.” If the memory bells work well in your old noggin, then you know these are the first lines of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of a three-part monolith which is The Lord of the Rings film series, which also spurred the release of another epic film set that began with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Tied with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which also came out the same year, the Rin communityg is the film which brought freshness back to fantasy.
Imagine a world without LOTR is almost impossible, The Fellowship of the Ring was a pioneer and was part of the exclusive blockbuster club recognized at the Oscars. The first film won 13 nominations and won four in 2002. However, recent news shared earlier this week revealed that Ringers could have been left out – and without a film – if Harvey Weinstein had done what he wanted. Now, I won’t be highlighting the elephant in the play which is Weinstein’s predatory abuse and sexual assault convictions, as Sofia Gallarate once did for Screenshot in April 2020. What we’re here to focus on is how the former film producer was just as tough to fight off as Sauron’s army in The Fellowship of the Ring.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, The independent sat down with the star-studded cast of the film series and had the real tea backstage – telling everyone about Ian mckellen, Elijah wood, Orlando bloom, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies and Sean Bean at Billy boyd, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and the still beautiful Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett.
The birthday piece touches everything from the team trekking through New Zealand’s evergreen hills to find the perfect spot to shoot, according to production designer Grant Major, to the efforts of the artistic department to bring the director. Peter Jackson and the author of the series of novels JRR Tolkien‘s lovechild to life. Even the LOTR the audition and casting process was brought to light by the publication as Andy Serkis, who played the horrid Gollum, explained how he prepared for the demanding role.
“I started to build Gollum psychologically, emotionally and physically, going through the book and taking Tolkien’s descriptions. When I was looking for inspiration, my cat walked into my kitchen and started coughing up a furball. I watched his entire spine ripple and this sound coming out of him that was like a trapped voice, so I incorporated that into the hearing, ”Serkis shared with The Independent.
Even Elijah Wood opened up on his own unusual path to becoming the Frodo Baggins we all know and love: “As you can imagine, every living and breathing actor wanted to audition for it. I didn’t want to do a traditional audition because I find the process very busy and it makes me nervous. I wanted to make the biggest impression possible, so I dressed like a Hobbit and had a voice coach work on the dialect.
“Then I went to Griffith Park [in Los Angeles] and shot a tape from several different angles and sent that VHS to the casting director, ”Wood continued. “Fast forward several months and Peter Jackson calls and asks if I want to be Frodo.”
One of the most interesting tidbits to come out of this candid interview with the cast and crew of the film is the fact that Weinstein would’ve come incredibly close to kicking Jackson – the only man who managed to pull it off. goliath from a movie – entirely out of the project. It’s crazy ?
The Independent said many have tried and failed to bring the quest for Mordor to the big screen, including the famous filmmaker John boorman as good as The Beatles. Say what? Because of its insurmountable depth, the construction of a complex world without equal, and the noble tradition of Tolkien, for a long time, the prospect of it never seeing the big screen was more ridiculous than little Frodo venturing out of his county.
At the time, Jackson was best known for the 1994 Oscar nominated film. Celestial creatures. He now has three Oscars to his name, with a total of nine nominations. The director understood the dangers that awaited him as he took on the difficult task of adapting LOTR and the scope of Tolkien’s work, which he should make digestible for average moviegoers, but he stepped up and tried anyway. Surely it couldn’t be this bad, right? Well, now we know it was indeed messy.
American film critic and YouTuber Lindsay Ellis globally chronic all the explosion and fire of the dumpster LOTR filming process. For those of you who want the short version, it was absolute hell to film. The problem wasn’t necessarily with how the first movie came to be, having finally gotten out of the production hole it was stuck in, as Ellis also spoke about how the stroke of bad luck stained. The Hobbit series more than a decade later the Fellowship of the Ringthe initial version of. What’s interesting is that the trouble started before the lights and cameras came on. In fact, the film was initially doomed from its inception as Jackson turned to an American entertainment company. Miramax, which was co-founded by the Weinstein brothers, to present to them the Fellowship of the Ring.
While Weinstein’s ego might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, the film was already teetering on the trail of turmoil. First, Jackson endured many of developmental drama at Miramax. The nearly two-year production schedule was strewn with trials in New Zealand where it was filmed. Even though it was as far away from Hollywood as possible, it didn’t seem to matter as there were many skirmishes both on set and backstage.
At first, the Weinstein brothers were incredibly supportive of Jackson’s vision, but things took a brutal turn after Disney decided to get involved. Disney was the business owner of Miramax, which means they pulled the strings for this puppet show. The House of the Mouse refused to give the green light to the necessary budget for the films, which was by no means a small change but an absolutely necessary change. This resulted in the Weinsteins giving Jackson and his team an unfathomable task in order to prevent the production company from tearing the film to pieces.
On the subject, Jackson’s manager Ken kamins told The Independent: “Harvey was excited. We found this very encouraging and thought we would have room to tell the stories, except we didn’t pay attention to the political dynamic between Miramax and Disney. Disney had set a budget cap for Miramax and The Lord of the Rings was way beyond what they themselves could give the green light. When Disney did the budget and we were going to shoot the movies back to back, […] they made it clear that they were not on board.
“So began the very tortured process of Harvey not wanting to admit the pushback from Disney and at the same time telling Peter, ‘This is what you have to do,'” he continued. To save their movie, Jackson and his team had to face ridiculous demands just to keep Disney happy. Harvey’s brother Bob Weinstein reportedly wanted to kill three characters at one point, but no hobbit was hurt, don’t worry.
It has also been said that Weinstein often directed his anger at Jackson, leading him to threaten the latter to join him. Quentin Tarantino to lead the show if Jackson wasn’t up to the job.
Marc Ordesky, a production manager who worked at New Line Cinema at the time, explained how exhausting it all was: “Finally, I go see Harvey and I say, ‘You have to give us a window to shop him.’ A traditional window [to try and sell a property to a different studio] is between 6 and 12 months. Harvey gave us three weeks. He also wanted an advance of $ 12 million to cover what Miramax had spent and five percent of the gross total, and to be appointed executive producer. We had three weeks to sell The Lord of the Rings in another studio where the rights belonged to Harvey and he would kick Peter off the project.
While Disney primarily controlled the reins, other influences had their sticky fingers in the pie as well. In an attempt to find the cheapest route out, the Weinsteins “were suing all the major studios and all independent financiers, including New Line,” Ordesky noted. “So Peter comes up with his presentation, which was a 30 minute video. It answered all the questions a studio would ask: how was it going to use real actors and make them appear to be three feet tall; how Gollum would manifest; why Peter was the right person to make the movies.
The founder of New Line Robert (also known as Bob) Shaye ignored all the risks and signed Jackson, or as Kamins told The Independent, “he rolled the dice and he took a hit.” Then the dreaded three-film trilogy discussion began and quickly gained traction. Kamins further revealed that it was actually Shaye’s idea to make it a trilogy instead of the two films originally planned, “Bob says ‘There are three books, why are you only making two films?’ “
More terrible decisions, decisions, and decisions put the film in extreme distress, but the team managed to emerge victorious on the other side nonetheless. “[New Line] said yes on Monday and disbursed $ 12 million on Wednesday. Harvey was absolutely stunned. He made us fail and expected we fail. But he got his five percent, ”Kamins concluded.
Oh and do you want to hear my absolute favorite fact about LOTR? According to Wood, one orc among many was made to look like Weinstein like a “kind of fuck you” to notorious producer, he told the hollywood podcast Chair expert.