Let’s face it: There are only, like, two major roles for women in Peter Jackson’s initial Lord of the Rings trilogy: Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Arwen (Liv Tyler). Ok, there are three if you count Miranda Otto’s Eowyn, who enters the story in The Two Towers. Point is, those movies were a big ol’ sausage fest (it’s called “The Fellowship Of The Ring” not the “Ladyship Of The Ring” amirite? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha *headdesk*), so the opportunities for women to join the cast were slim — and perhaps more valuable because of it.
Which is why it’s too bad that Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were never even considered, as Peter Jackson confirmed this week — because they’d been blacklisted by the fucking Weinstein brothers. Speaking with Stuff in New Zealand, the director discussed his time developing LotR under Miramax (before New Line Cinema took over the rights), and admitted that the Weinsteins had influenced the casting in a very real way.
“I recall Miramax telling us they [Sorvino and Judd] were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998,” Jackson said.
“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.”
Though Jackson claims he never heard about the sexual assault allegations against Harvey, he’d made the decision to avoid working with the Weinsteins after they’d behaved like “second-rate Mafia bullies” while he was developing LotR for them — even threatening to fire him if he didn’t cram all three books into one film instead of the initially-proposed two picture concept. It was New Line that offered to release it in three parts when they took over.
As you’ll recall, both Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein earlier this fall (along with dozens of other women). And though they’d suspected their careers had suffered because of their refusal to cooperate, that kind of blacklisting is a hard thing to prove — which is why Jackson’s admission is so valuable. Both women responded to the article on Twitter:
I remember this well. https://t.co/wctEhESAS9— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 15, 2017
Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick https://t.co/ljK9NqICbm— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 15, 2017