A war of words between Hollywood heavyweights Peter Jackson and Harvey Weinstein is continuing, with the Kiwi director calling recent comments from the disgraced movie boss "insincere".

In a new statement to Deadline, Jackson said he and Fran Walsh had "no reason to make up" claims that Weinstein vetoed actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from their Lord of the Rings trilogy in the late 1990s.

In response to Jackson's claim, a spokesperson for Weinstein said: "While Bob and Harvey Weinstein were executive producers of the film, they had no input into the casting whatsover".

But in today's new statement, Jackson called Weinstein's comment "insincere" and detailed exactly how their claims came about.


"In the 18 months we developed the Lord of the Rings at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives," Jackson said.

"Amongst the many names raised, Fran and I expressed our enthusiasm for Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. In fact we met with Ashley and discussed two possible roles with her.

"After this meeting we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had 'bad experiences' with these particular actresses in the past.

"Fran Walsh was in the same meeting, and remembers these negative comments about Ashley and Mira as clearly as I do. We have no reason to make it up."

Jackson said Weinstein's warnings meant that when the trilogy changed hands from Miramax to New Line, Judd and Sorvino weren't considered for roles.

"... because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we'd been told the truth, Fran and I did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations.:

Both Sorvino and Judd have thanks Jackson and Walsh for coming forward with their story.

Jackson finished his latest statement by apologising to Judd and Sorvino for a second time.

"We have no direct evidence linking Ashley and Mira's allegations to our Lord of the Rings casting conversations of 20 years ago – but we stand by what we were told by Miramax when we raised both of their names, and we are recounting it accurately," Jackson said.

"If we were unwitting accomplices in harming their careers, Fran and I unreservedly apologise to both Ashley and Mira."

* Read Jackson's full statement here.