At That Time, Peter Jackson Lost It and Dropped an F-Bomb on The Head of The Studio During The Creation of the Lord of the Rings Movie.


The production of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films was a grand undertaking, perhaps not unlike the quest to destroy one ring. At first, it was unclear whether it was possible to create a trilogy of films in one mass production. In the end, we got one of the most incredible franchises in the history of cinema, but the tension on the set, as you would expect, was quite high at various points, which led to Jackson using some strong language in relation to people who gave him money.

In a new interview with The Telegraph (via CBR), director Peter Jackson discusses a situation during filming when LOTR’s New Line Cinema studio was apparently so concerned about cost overruns that a studio member called Jackson in the middle of filming to actually threaten him if costs were not brought under control. Jackson explains…

I’m on the parapet, probably with [Aragorn’s actor] Viggo [Mortensen], and I see [producer] Barry [M. Osborne]. It took him about 30 minutes to huff and puff to get to the top, and so I kept shooting. Barry comes in and says, “I have a studio, I have to connect you with Michael Lynn from New Line.” I’m asking why. He says, “Oh, he’s going to threaten to sue you and sell the house out from under you to cover the overspending.”

How to Watch The Lord of the Rings in Chronological Order - IGN

It is clear why New Line Cinema was concerned about the possibility of getting out of control of expenses. Any of the Lord of the Rings films probably runs the risk of going over budget just because of the scale. Sometimes expensive movies bring a lot of money, and sometimes not. While there were certainly some opportunities to save money by making all three films at the same time, you’re still shooting three films at the same time, which means that cost overruns can go sideways three times, which is essentially what happened to the cost of the film. Hobbit movies years later.

Judging by the way producer Barry M. Osborne delivered the message, it definitely sounds like he wasn’t the one who brought pitchforks or torches to Peter Jackson’s house, he just delivered a message about what someone else was going to say. So Jackson makes it clear that he wasn’t mad at Osbourne, but he told the producer to pass the message to the studio, and he didn’t watch his language. Jackson continued…

Barry was just a messenger, but it was one of the few moments where I really broke down. I said: “Just tell Michael Lynn that I’m making this fucking movie and doing my best, and I’m not going to interrupt my day with a phone call like that.”

While it probably wasn’t the only similar call Peter Jackson received during the years that “The Lord of the Rings” was in production, in the end, he managed to make the films he wanted, whatever the final cost. And it worked for New Line, as the Lord of the Rings franchise earned billions of dollars and won several Oscars. After all, Peter Jackson’s letter about returning to work was perhaps the right call.


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