One unpleasant aspect of watching classic movies from the ’90s and 2000s is seeing Harvey Weinstein pop up in the credits. The convicted movie mogul is currently serving a 23-year sentence for his crimes in the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility in Erie County, New York. One franchise he was connected to was Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, though Weinstein and Jackson famously didn’t see eye to eye.
As a measure of Jackson’s dislike of Weinstein, he stuck a few subtle jabs at him in the movies, one of which was revealed by Elijah Wood during a recent appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast. Wood explained that Jackson was growing frustrated with Weinstein’s demands, so decided that one of the Orcs should resemble him:
“They were talking to Sean Astin about his first memory of getting to New Zealand. 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 fuck you. I think that is OK to talk about now, the guy is fucking incarcerated. Fuck him.”
It has also been pointed out that in the credits, Weinstein’s name is displayed next to a pair of trolls, underlining that Jackson viewed him as a monster:
Sadly there’s no evidence exactly which orc is modeled after Weinstein, though many are theorizing that Commander Gothmog from The Return of the King bears a suspicious resemblance to a certain corpulent sex offender.
The Lord of the Rings is set to return in a big way in 2022 when Amazon launches their colossally-budgeted TV series. This is set millennia before the movies and will be based on Tolkien’s Middle-earth histories chronicled in the Silmarillion. After the disappointing Hobbit trilogy, I’m itching to get back to Middle-earth. Let’s hope the show is worth the wait.