Amazon will remake ‘Lord of the Rings’ as a series
The rumors are true: Amazon Studios is moving ahead with a small-screen adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy series The Lord of the Rings, despite the fact that Peter Jackson’s film trilogy was pretty much perfect and a remake is wholly unnecessary. (We won’t speak of The Hobbit franchise.)
Amazon has acquired global television rights to the series and given it a multi-season commitment, which will “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” according to a company release, implying that the show may weave in aspects of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, since that story involves a number of characters who later reappear in Lord of the Rings.
“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 at 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.”
The deal also includes an option for a spinoff, which fans have speculated could potentially utilize storylines from The Silmarillion, a collection of tales which explore the years before The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings took place.
Amazon needs a win right now, as the embattled company has been at the center of a sexual harassment scandal stemming from former Amazon Studios president Roy Price, who resigned following allegations that he harassed Man in the High Castle producer Isa Hackett. Two of Price’s top execs subsequently left the company following his exit.
No production or premiere date for the Lord of the Rings adaptation has yet been announced, but with Game of Thrones about to enter its final season, other networks have been scrambling to find a sprawling fantasy series that could fill the void — HBO is developing numerous Thrones prequels, while Showtime recently announced development on The Kingkiller Chronicle, based on the Patrick Rothfuss novels, with Lin-Manuel Miranda executive producing.
Who says originality is dead?