Revealed: Who this Lord of the Rings orc was based on
Elijah Wood, the actor who played Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, has revealed that one particular orc was modelled after a real person in an act of revenge.
Appearing on Armchair Expert, hosted by actor and comedian Dax Shepard, Wood shared that it was the orc named Gothmog, who made an appearance in Return of the King, after Jackson was threatened to be replaced if he didn’t condense the trilogy into one film.
But who was the subject of the revenge?
“One of the orc masks - and I remember this vividly - was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein as a sort of f**k you,” Wood said.
Gothmog the orc (left) appears to be the character that most resembles Weinstein (right). Image: New Line Cinema, Getty Images
According to Wood, it was a way for the film’s production team to take revenge against the entertainment mogul and convicted sex offender after he made their lives hard during production.
Initially, Weinstein’s company Miramax was set to produce The Lord of the Rings.
But, Weinstein refused to make three movies, demanding that director Peter Jackson condense them into just one.
Weinstein then threatened to pass the film on to fellow directors Quentin Tarantino or John Madden if Jackson didn’t do as he asked.
After Jackson reportedly asked for permission to get a different producer, Weinstein agreed but only gave him one weekend to do so.
“The window of time was insane,” Wood said.
“They shopped it around town. Peter made a pitch video that’s pretty impressive, taken to a variety of places. Most people were balking at the notion of doing more than one film. The popular opinion was, ‘No, you have to see how [the initial movie] does and then invest the rest of your money’.”
The franchise was later scooped up by Bob Shaye, the 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.
The trilogy would go on to make $2.92 billion at the box office, and is considered to be one of the most successful franchises of all time.
Image: New Line Cinema