Amazon to Produce ‘Lord of the Rings’ Prequel Series

lord of the rings

Amazon Studios is set to produce a live-action ‘Lord of the Rings‘ Television Series based on beloved novels created by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was just days ago that Amazon and the Tolkien estate were rumored to be in talks to collaborate on the new ‘Lord of the Rings’ project, which the Tolkien estate had been previously shopping around to both HBO and Netflix. Now, Amazon Studios has confirmed that the deal is definitely happening. Moreso than this, the more revalatory news is that the show will be set somewhere before ‘Fellowship of the Ring‘, making is set somewhere after the events of ‘The Hobbit‘.

Here’s the description of the new show via the official press release:

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.

Packaged a a multi-season commitment with a hefty price tag (yikes), here’s what Variety had to say about the intricacies of securing the deal with the Tolkien estate:

Amazon, Netflix and HBO had been approached by the Tolkien estate, who had been shopping the project. It came with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200 million-$250 million range, and I hear Amazon landed the rights by paying close to $250 million. That is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production, in proposition whose finances industry observers called “insane.” It is a payment that is made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series. On top of that, the budget for a fantasy series of that magnitude is likely to be $100 million-$150 million a season.

Here’s what Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios, had to say about the new deal:

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.”

Although the more specific details about the show itself are still in development, it will be interesting to see how much of ‘The Simarillion’ will actually be used in the new series.For those that are unaware, ‘The Simarillion’ is a detailed history of Middle-earth that includes the creation of the world, histories and downfalls of all the civilizations, and much more. Essentially, It’s a giant appendix with the singular purpose of filling out the history of Middle-earth. Naturally, this material might provide a crazy amount of potential for new stories to be told with this new series.

Amazon Studios seems hungry to find the next ‘Game of Thrones‘, but we’ll just have to wait and see if this another ‘Lord of the Rings‘, or if it’s another ‘The Hobbit‘, in terms of quality. Make sure to check back as we learn more in the future!

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