Pack your bags – we’re heading back to Middle-Earth!
Just days after we reported that Warner Bros. Television and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien are in talks with Amazon to develop a series based on the late author’s famed novels, the e-commerce giant has officially announced that it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) with a multi-season commitment.
Set in Middle-Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring. And the massive deal, believed to be close to US$250 million, also includes potential spin-off series.
No further details on plot and characters have been disclosed yet. But based on the industry rumblings about the budget they are setting for this project, it seems that Warner, the Tolkien estate and Amazon are ready to go all out and go toe to toe with epic fantasy series like HBO’s Game of Thrones.
“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, via a statement. “Sharon (Tal Yguado) 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.”
It’s great to learn to that the TV series will be based on other stories from Tolkien’s expanded universe rather than a re-telling of Bilbo and Frodo’s adventures, which were already covered in director Peter Jackson’s trilogies.
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) were a cultural phenomenon and earned a total of 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture for The Return of the King. These films are widely considered to be the definitive adaptation so it wouldn’t make much sense to do it all over again for the small screen.
Fans have been hoping for a series based on the stories from the First and Second Ages, which take place thousands of years before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. Based on the one detail shared – that this will indeed be a prequel – fans may just get their wish!
The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices. It can also be watched online with other Amazon Prime Originals at Amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership.
The series will be a global release for members to watch via the Prime Video app or online at PrimeVideo.com in more than 200 countries and territories.
What do you think of this new epic Lord of the Rings TV project?