This week Tim Sanders stepped down as producer of Lord of the Rings. Sanders who co-produced The Frighteners with Peter Jackson back in 1996 quit among rumors that there were clashes between him and his counterparts at New Line Cinema over the pay difference between New Zealanders and Americans.
These clashes have been denied by project spokeswoman Claire Raskind, “There is no division between Kiwis and Americans on the set of The Lord of the Rings”
These are not the first signs of trouble with this production. Back in October Stuart Townsend who was to play Aragorn, one of the lead males, was fired among speculation that he was not strong enough to hold the role.
Then in November the storms came and washed away many of the sets created for the production. During the month of December the production took a break for Christmas and now this month we have another person quitting under a shadow of suspicion.
I think there are two ways of looking at this. On one hand, it seems that heads are rolling if people are going to get in the way of the production of these movies. To further reinforce this point just this week, Eddie McCarthy, an extra who published his experience of working on the set as an extra was blacklisted from working on this or any other movie for the rest of his life.
On the other hand, there seem to be some real problems with a production of this size. It is my hope that Peter Jackson and company can pull this off without tarnishing the story and characters. I hope that Jackson pulls off a James Cameron and produces a movie of Titanic proportions, putting to rest any fears of a Waterworld 2 in the guise of Middle-earth.