Did you catch this hidden easter egg??
Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has confirmed there is a secret jab at the disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein in the franchise! As LOTR fans surely know, the fantasy film series includes many fictional characters called orcs, monster-ish, goblin-like creatures, who enjoy the taste of human flesh. And one of them is apparently designed after the convicted sex offender!!
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While on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Elijah, who starred as Frodo Baggins, admitted that SHADY feature came as a major FU to the producer and Miramax, who owned the rights to the J.R.R. Tolkien’s series. According to him, the 69-year-old made it almost impossible for the director, Peter Jackson, to get the trilogy made.
Part of this story has been widely known for years, so Dax took the opportunity to rehash it for listeners. The podcast host explained that Miramax had acquired the rights to LOTR back in the mid-’90s and even invested millions into the project! But when the creative differences between the production company and director and his partner Fran Walsh became apparent, Jackson asked for permission to shop it elsewhere. Miramax agreed, but only with some ridiculous requirements, Shepard detailed:
“And Miramax said: ‘We will only give it back to you in turnaround, but two things have to happen. One: You have to go get it set up this weekend. And two: Whoever agrees has to agree to make all three at once.”
Wood confirmed the story, adding:
“The window of time was insane. They shopped it around town. Peter made a pitch video that’s pretty impressive, taken to a variety of places.”
Even with the best pitch video, though, the restrictions Miramax gave them were like a slap in the face because hardly anyone would want to invest in three feature films at once before even knowing if audiences would turn up to watch. The Back to the Future Part II lead continued:
“Most people were balking at the notion of doing more than one film. The popular opinion was, ‘No, you have to see how [the first movie] does and then invest the rest of your money.”
Thankfully, they found their perfect match in New Line Cinema, taking the “insane, incredible risk” of filming all the movies, something Miramax never saw coming. The 40-year-old recalled:
“Miramax thought there was no chance in hell.”
Of course, the risk paid off for the production company since Lord of the Rings went on to be one of the most successful franchises in history! The final film, The Return of the Kings, won 11 Oscars, tying the record with Titanic and Ben-Hur, including for Best Picture. AH-mazing!!
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So, where does Weinstein come into this?? Well, after all the hurdles he threw at the director, the make-up department (which won an Academy Award for their work) chose to add a very unflattering nod to the former producer: making him into one of the orcs! The No Man of God actor shared:
“It’s funny, this was recently spoken about because Dom [Monaghan, who played Merry] and Bill [Boyd, who played Pippin] have a podcast, The Friendship Onion. They were talking to Sean Astin [who played Samwise] about his first memory of getting to New Zealand.”
Was it the beautiful scenery? Meeting his co-stars? Nope. His first memory was seeing an orc mask! Elijah noted:
“He had seen these orc masks. And one of the orc masks — and I remember this vividly — was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein as a sort of a f**k you.”
While nobody has confirmed which character was meant to make fun of the problematic producer, most fans have decided it must have been deformed lieutenant Gothmog, who (spoiler alert) is killed in the final battle after losing in a fight to the only woman on the field.
Take a look at the uncanny similarities!
LOLz!! That’s BRUTAL. He really must have pissed everyone off to be made into a character looking like that!! Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time he was depicted looking awful in art either!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Did you ever notice this connection before? Sound OFF in the comments (below)!
[Image via Jeff Grossman/WENN & Warner Bros. Entertainment/YouTube]
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