Director Peter Jackson deliberately leaked his original two-movie screenplay for The Lord of the Rings in order to keep it from Harvey Weinstein.
Director Peter Jackson deliberately leaked his original two-movie screenplay for the Lord of the Rings as a way to get him away from Harvey Weinstein. The New Zealand filmmaker’s journey to get his vision The Lord of the Rings The onscreen trilogy has been told countless times, and it’s well known that Miramax, owned by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, (the disgraced former producer facing multiple sexual assault charges) wanted to l ‘origin only make two films.
Jackson eventually managed to move his the Lord of the Rings deal to New Line Cinema, allowing him to make three films and include a number of scenes, like his favorite starring Gollum and Smeagol, which had been cut for the time in the original two film shot. The rest is cinematic history, with the trilogy being seen as a hallmark for making fantastic movies, and ushering in an era of CGI-rich blockbusters that changed the face of cinema forever. Jackson eventually went on to make a trilogy of Hobbit less well-received prequels, but his legacy as a great director, thanks to The Lord of the Rings films, remains intact. But everything could have been so different.
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A new Polygon report reveals Jackson intentionally leaked both films the Lord of the Rings script to the old movie website, Ain’t that cool, as a means of attracting the attention of the project. Jackson indirectly made sure that the screenplay was in the hands of writer Drew McWeeny, who wrote a review of the project’s potential. This caught the attention of the project, which ultimately led Jackson to stand up to the Weinsteins and get the chance to showcase the project at New Line Cinema. You can read McWeeny’s account of events below:
Jackson had already had contact with Ain’t It Cool by this time and many people within WingNut and WETA were also reaching out. They felt like they were creating something great and worried that they would not be able to find a studio ready to develop. So it was decided to divulge the scripts to Ain’t It Cool in a way that anyone could later deny. They weren’t coming directly from anyone and no one ever officially asked us to cover them up so if I was ever in a rush I could honestly say it wasn’t Peter or Fran [Walsh]. What is clear, however, is that I had access to them so that I could talk about what I was thinking at the exact moment New Line was trying to make its decision.
This leak may have affected film history in a deeper way than Jackson would have realized at the time, as it allowed him to make films that became classics and led to the final installment. from the Serie, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, to win 11 Oscars at the 2004 ceremony. The enduring popularity of the trilogy is such that a 4k restoration was recently promoted as a new release, and that of Amazon the Lord of the Rings the series received the biggest budget in television history.
If this show is able to live up to Jackson the Lord of the Rings the films remain to be seen. There is already some controversy over the name of the show, given that it doesn’t cover events from the books, but takes place earlier in Tolkien’s Middle-earth story. There are also those who are skeptical of stories from this age capable of competing with the original tale. But whatever the outcome, at least the original trilogy was saved from the clutches of the Weinsteins, by a fateful script leak.
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