Update: Amazon Studios has officially acquired global TV rights to the Lord of the Rings franchise. The multi-season epic fantasy TV series will be produced at Amazon Studios with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. Click through for more information, including potential new storylines to be explored in this series.
According to a press release on November 13, 2017, the Amazon Prime Original series will explore “new storylines preceding” The Fellowship of the Ring:
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”
“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”
Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s TheFellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.
It is unclear if the Amazon series will be solely a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, if it will pull any familiar characters from that series, or if it will also retread the same ground as the movie trilogy. Hopefully Amazon will provide updates about the status of the project as development continues.
The original article, below:
According to Variety, Warner Bros. Television and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien are developing a television adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with Amazon Studios reportedly in early talks to air the epic fantasy series.
Sources say that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is personally involved in the negotiations, which is unusual for him, but makes sense based on the programming shift that Bezos ordered earlier this year: moving away from “niche, naturalistic series” such as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle toward “large-scale genre programming”—that is, toward a Game of Thrones successor.
We don’t know much else for the moment, though TheOneRing.net has provided a history of the transfer of movie, television, and other rights from the Tolkien estate to various production companies and studios. They also cite Deadline’s report, which says that Netflix and HBO were also approached about the deal but that the latter dropped out, while the former is still potentially in the running.
“Plus,” Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva notes, “I hear that the rights for a TV series in the Lord of the Rings do not encompass all characters and are limited.”
And, lest we forget, there are already three movies adapted from the original trilogy, and three more from The Hobbit. Would you want to see The Lord of the Rings as an epic fantasy TV series?