In the News: Lord of Rings Producer Quits Inner Circle - Sunday Star Times
Lord of Rings Producer Quits Inner Circle
Sunday Star Time - January 16, 2000
The top New Zealand producer on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings fiim has quit. Tim Sanders, Jackson's long-time friend and producer, confirmed yesterday he had stepped down from his glamour role on the $360 millicul film trilogy.
"I've left the project, it was a personal choice and at this stage I don't want to say much more about it," Sanders told the Sunday Star Times.
Sanders said he had dedicated most of the past three years to the film trilogy. Asked if it would be hard to walk away from the project, he did not want to comment.
He dismissed rumours there was a dispute over spending, including providing meals for non-shooting crew - staff working on the project but who are not required on set. "You shouldn't suggest it's anything that I've done. If anything, it's the reverse. And therefore it was my choice," he said.
Rings publicist Claire Raskind said New Line studio executives stressed the project was on budget and on schedule. New Line Cinema is the American company backing the project.
Sanders's departure comes at an awkward time as filming resumes tomorrow in Waikato after the Christmas break.
Film sources said New Line Cinema people were "tough s" who ran a ship. As director, Jackson had creative control over the trilogy but everything else was run by the Americans.
The project's American producer Barie M Osborne yesterday said: 'Tim's been involved with this project since the very early days and done a wonderful job."
"He's a great guy, he's done a great job. But I've been here for quite a long time. This project has been a complicated one and he's done well to get this thing up and off the ground." He said Sanders would not be replaced.
Sanders's film career extends back to the 1981 Kiwi film Race to the Yankee Zephyr, which starred Bruno Lawrence and Ken Wahl.
His television work includes producing the 1994 documentary-drama Fallout - the controversial account of the 1984 political crisis which occurred as David Lunge's Labour government entered office.
In 1995, Sanders quit as the head of production at South Pacific Pictures, the makers of Shortland St, to work as Jackson's producer on The Frighteners, which starred Michael J Fox.
Sanders and Jackson have worked together since.