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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

According to the outlet Stuff, Peter Jackson has come out, stating that he was given advice and pressure from Harvey Weinstein not to utilize actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in Lord of the Rings.

Here is Jackson’s quote:

“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us – but in hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women – and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”

This comes on the heels of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein. Both Judd and Sorvino spoke out against the producer, and their being “blacklisted” seems to be further evidence of the aforementioned allegations.

Since these comments from Jackson, Weinstein’s representatives have released a statement, saying:

“Mr. Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the Lord of the Rings, Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line.

While Bob and Harvey Weinstein were executive producers of the film they had no input into the casting whatsoever.

Secondly, until Ashley Judd wrote a piece for Variety two years ago, no one at the Company knew that she had a complaint and she was cast in two other films by Mr. Weinstein [Frida and Crossing Over] and Mira Sorvino was always considered for other films as well.

There was no indication that Mira Sorvino had any issues until Mr. Weinstein read about the complaints in the news.

As recently as this year, Mira Sorvino called Mr. Weinstein and asked if her husband could be part of the SEAL television series [Six] he was producing and Mr. Weinstein cast him; when Christopher Backus received a better offer, Mr. Weinstein allowed him to amicably break his contact to pursue the opportunity.”

Indeed, considering the fact that Miramax ultimately did not go through with Lord of the Rings, it would seem like the idea of “pressure” is a bit of an overstatement. That being said, Jackson had no reason to assume, at the time, that Weinstein would be lying, so it’s very possible that he still went with his advice following their move to New Line.

What do you think of these accusations and Weinstein’s response? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Stuff, Deadline

  • Moby85

    Yeah I don’t know who to believe in this case. Peter Jackson doesn’t seem like the type to lie. The truth is probably that Weinstein did try to blacklist Sorvino and Judd for a time and instead of pressure probably slipped it as a comment “off the record”. But coming from a powerhouse producer this comment would be taken seriously.

  • SeanDon

    I think anytime you’re going through a big movie (especially for what would have been secondary parts in the LOTR movies) you’d definitely listen to another top executive telling you a person was a complete nightmare to work with. Whether their names were brought up as potential actresses for those parts or not, there would be no way they’d get a call in after that, unless Jackson was absolutely enamored by them.

  • Victor Roa

    production of LotR was like over 7 years, so like their list was insane. Reminded Uma Thurman and Stuart Townsend, so it’s like trying to fit puzzle pieces of scheduling, acting and finally budget.

  • Lenin1959

    I hope he hasn’t molested any hobbits…

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.