Several days ago, it was revealed that Warner Bros. was in the process of developing a Lord of the Rings TV show, and it sounds like that development is gaining some extra momentum.
According to Deadline, Amazon has closed a deal for the global TV rights to the project, with a “multi-season commitment,” and the deal even includes a potential spinoff series.
Apparently, the Tolkien Estate is the one who approached streaming services with this idea, and it came with an upfront rights payment that can range from just under $200 million to $250 million — which is no small price tag. The budget alone for the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was $320 million, so having to spend that much on rights alone is quite the investment.
So this investment would be in addition to the $100 to $150 million the studio would be expected to spend on each season of television. But Amazon Studios jumped in nonetheless.
Regarding this announcement, Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios said:
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. 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.”
Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate said:
“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. 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.”
Interestingly enough, it doesn’t sound like this will be a strict adaptation, and will bring in elements of Tolkien’s writing to explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring, which is the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Given that Peter Jackson already made what is still considered to be the definitive adaptation, it’s probably a good idea that they take a new approach here.
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