Amazon Buys Lord of the Rings TV Series with Pre-Fellowship Stories

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Amazon announced Monday that it has secured a multi-season deal for a Lord of the Rings TV series. The show will focus on “new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” and includes rights for possible spin-offs. The series will be produced with cooperation by a who-who of those with Lord of the Rings rights, including the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Middle Earth

Amazon didn’t specify where the “new storylines” will come from. Tolkien famously left a vast wealth of pre-history for The Lord of the Rings, some 10,000 years of fully documented history. Certainly that includes many stories in the months and years leading up to The Lord of the Rings. Personally, I hope Amazon Studies plans to limit itself to those storylines created by Tolkien, but somehow I doubt it.

The Lord of the Rings has generated some $6 billion in worldwide revenues with the Peter Jackson films, as the world has loved seeing these stories brought to the screen. My guess is that Amazon will have a hit on its hands with its TV show(s), too, and I wonder if Apple was in the bidding for this project.

4 Comments Add a comment

  1. furbies

    Sorry, but I can’t imagine Amazon (or anyone else) doing LOTR true justice.

    Don’t get me wrong. Jackson’s LOTR films had some great visuals/photography, but even he couldn’t help himself…




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  2. geoduck

    Understand that I was a massive LotR fan growing up. I must have read the trilogy over a dozen times and The Hobbit several dozen. I have a first printing of the Silmarillion on the shelf.

    The LotR films were pretty good. Left a fair amount out, Tom Bombadil for example, but overall they did a good job of capturing the spirit of the books. The Hobbit on the other hand ranged from fun, to mediocre. In reality it shared a very generalized bit of the plot, but most of it was created by the screenwriters out of whole cloth. I never bothered with the third film. The Battle of Five Armies is one thin chapter at the end of the book. The film had to have been almost completely written by Hollywood, a trend I saw from the beginning of the series.

    So now Amazon is making no pretence. they are going to do series based on whatever the hell they want, but using names and places from Middle Earth. Sorry but I will not be watching this. It’s the equivalent of Handel’s Water Music done by a kazoo band, or the Mona Lisa redone in different flavours of jam.




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  3. skipaq

    One of the problems with today’s entertainment industry is their aversion to the spiritual or religious elements in the writings of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. They generally don’t do justice to this side to their works. I rather doubt that Amazon will be any better. Their formula will be to highlight the villains and heroes in various hack them up action scenes while injecting as much erotic romanticism as they wish.




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