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The Reeler Blog

News Flash: Harvey Weinstein Wins 'Argument'

So it's barely 11 a.m. on Monday and I've already read what will likely be the best news item of the week: a few pages from Brian Sibley's new biography of Peter Jackson, as excerpted by the London Times. Not that Jackson or his films particularly arouse me, but when you view The Lord of the Rings' development phase through the ulcerated prism of a first-look deal at Miramax? Well, you don't need me to tell you how that's going to go:

[Jackson remembered:] "When Bob expressed some opinion that Harvey didn't agree with, Harvey stormed out of the room and disappeared while Bob just kept on talking as if his brother was still in the room. Then, a few minutes later, we heard the stomp, stomp of footsteps and, through the frosted glass, saw this Alfred Hitchcock-style silhouette of Harvey marching back down the corridor.
"He walked into the room holding the Oscar that he had won for The English Patient, which he'd just been to collect from his office, and he slammed it down on the table in front of Bob and screamed: 'Who knows f****** more about scriptwriting, you or me?' We sat there watching this going on and, at first, it was pretty unnerving; then, very quickly, we realised that it is a game; there's no real aggro in these exchanges; they are just playing and having fun." ...
Having no allegiance to Tolkien, Bob also felt free to offer suggestions for improving the original plot.
"At one point Bob said: 'So there's these four hobbits, right? And, you know, they go on this adventure and none of the hobbits die?' Well, no, we explained. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin all survive ... 'Well, we can't have that,' he said. 'We've got to kill a hobbit! I don't care which one; you can pick -- I'm not telling you who it should be: you pick out who you want to kill, but we've really got to kill one of those hobbits!' "

Clearly, just as Jackson and his writing partner Fran Walsh's survival must be commended and honored by digesting this experience in its entirety, don't miss the "oh-by-the-way" caveat required of any Weinstein story disclosing how the brothers pulled in mid-eight-figures on LOTR without even shooting a frame of film. Next thing you know, Harvey will be storming into a Wall Street fundraising meeting with his Nobel Prize for Economics, bellowing something about turning a profit on Doogal.

Posted at October 30, 2006 10:56 AM

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