Lord of the Rings: Harvey Weinstein threatened to replace Peter Jackson with Quentin Tarantino.
In our latest installment of “Feel Old Yet?”, you might be horrified to learn that The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Fans of Peter Jackson’s ground-breaking adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy saga know that the development of the project wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, but could you imagine if Lord of the Rings had been directed by Quentin Tarantino?
Give me a moment to explain. The Lord of the Rings was originally set up at Miramax with Bob and Harvey Weinstein and although they were initially supportive of Peter Jackson’s vision for the series, they quickly changed their tune and came after Jackson with a lot of ridiculous demands.
While speaking with The Independent, Peter Jackson’s manager Ken Kamins revealed that Harvey Weinstein had actually threatened to replace Jackson with Quentin Tarantino if Jackson couldn’t cram all three stories into one film.
— Harvey would go from acting empathetically to turning on a dime into Mr. Hyde and would threaten Peter. He’d threaten to get Quentin Tarantino to direct if Peter couldn’t do it in one film that was two-and-a-half hours – which was the exact opposite of what he initially told us he wanted. Eventually, I go to Harvey and say, “You have to give us a window to shop it.” —
While I doubt that Quentin Tarantino was ever aware that his name was being used to threaten Peter Jackson, you can’t help but wonder what Tarantino’s Lord of the Rings would have looked like.
As we know, Peter Jackson and the producers were able to sell Lord of the Rings to New Line, and it was actually founder Robert Shaye who suggested expanding the project to three films. According to Kamins, “[Shaye] said, ‘Tolkien did your job for you.
He wrote three books so you have three movies,’ and I’m kicking Peter under the table not believing what I’m hearing.
They said yes on Monday and were out of pocket $12m by Wednesday. Harvey was absolutely stunned. He set us up to fail and expected us to fail. But he got his five percent.”
This is far from the first time that Quentin Tarantino has had his name attached to an unlikely project. He previously had an idea for a Star Trek movie, but unlike The Lord of the Rings, Tarantino was actually aware of his involvement on that one.
While Quentin Tarantino figures out what his tenth and final film will be, I suppose The Silmarillion could be an option?