Our house is fairly well-stocked with books by Brian Sibley about various aspects of the Lord of the Rings movies. Well-enough, I had thought, until I read an excerpt in the Times the other day from his latest — a biography of Peter Jackson. The Times article focuses on the meetings between the Weinstein brothers and Jackson and his wife Fran Walsh, at the time when Miramax was considering providing the backing. (In the event, the films were financed by New Line.) I particularly liked this part:
“Bob Weinstein had obviously read the treatment, or skipped through it, but I remember this moment as if a lightbulb had gone on and there was almost a palpable moment of sudden understanding. Bob said: ‘Wait! So the Elf is like a bowman, shooting arrows, yeah? And the Dwarf has got axes and he can throw axes? And Sam, he’s got this magic rope, right? And Frodo’s got this light thing?’ Then he got really excited and you could see there was this moment of utter revelation and he said: ‘It’s like that movie where they had the explosives expert and the code expert and the marksman and they all had their own special skill . . . It’s the f****** Guns of Navarone!’
“The best thing to do in these meetings is try and keep a straight face and, occasionally, kick each other under the table, which Fran and I were prone to doing.”
Almost enough to make me buy the book, though I’ve never yet read a celebrity biography that I’ve enjoyed, with the exception of Wired by Bob Woodward. (I read that one only because I read all Bob Woodward’s books.)
The Times article was published on 26 Oct, so will only be freely available for a few more days.