Pop Culture

‘Lord of the Rings’ Orc was based on Harvey Weinstein’s appearance

Elijah Wood reveals that an orc in The Lord of the Rings was crafted to look like disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein.

In a recent appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert, Elijah Wood revealed that one of the orcs from The Lord of the Rings was based on Harvey Weinstein’s image.

According to Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the series, it was an act of revenge against Weinstein after he made life hard for the film’s production team.

Image: latesthunts.com

Wood revealed, 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.”

The disgraced movie boss is a convicted sex offender and was a major catalyst behind the “me too movement”, which focuses on publically voicing allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

The relationship between the franchise’s director, Peter Jackson, and Weinstein turned sour amidst debates surrounding the film’s production.

Initially, The Lord of the Rings was to be produced by Weinstein’s company Miramax. However, Weinstein wouldn’t agree to making three movies and demanded that Jackson condense the film. He then threatened to offload the film to Quentin Tarentino or John Madden if Jackson didn’t comply.

Jackson reportedly asked Weinstein for permission to get another producer, to which the convicted sex offender agreed but only allowed him one weekend to do so, “The window of time was insane,” said Wood.

The film franchise was eventually picked up by Bob Shaye, founder of New Line Cinema. 

“I think the lore is that they were coming with two and it was Bob Shaye who said, ‘We have to do three,’ which is insane,” said Wood. This was an “incredible risk” according to Wood, of which “Miramax thought there was no chance in hell.”

The orc, Gothmog (lieutenant of the Witch-king in the Third Age from Minas Morgul) is said to have been crafted after Weinstein’s image as a petty insult to the disgraced movie mogul.

As if this wasn’t enough, the franchise is now considered one of the most successful of all time grossing $2.92 billion at the box office.

Weinstein was charged with rape in February 2020 and sentenced to 23 years imprisonment. He currently faces further charges in California to which he has pleaded not guilty.