It’s been 15 years since the last Lord of the Rings film came out in cinemas, and 4 years since movie-goers had another chance to venture into Middle Earth via the less-loved The Hobbit trilogy. Now we as a fan-base stand on the precipice of quite the historic return to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece.
Whilst nothing official has been announced by Amazon themselves, thanks to a number of reports from the likes of The Hollywood Reporter we do have a relatively clear understanding of what is to come with this new series and how we arrived at this point in the first place.
With that in mind, here is everything we know about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series…
It began last year when it came to light that Amazon had signed a whopping $250m deal for the rights to Tolkien’s estate. This came shortly after Tolkien’s son Christopher stepped down as head of the estate and the sale was a decision which to this day splits opinion among the fan base. Christopher Tolkien has long been a protector of his Father’s work, and according to sources in one of the main reasons that external projects such as video games have not been able to delve into the already established canon of the books. Think back to Shadow of War and the way in which it had to create lore all of its own.
Whilst there is no official release date for whatever form the TV show takes it has been confirmed that included in the sale of the estate and rights was a clause which meant said show had to be in production within two years. This means that any potential series should be underway by November 2019, thoughts which were compounded by comments made by Amazon executive Jennifer Salke:
“We’re really excited about Lord of the Rings. Despite all the chatter about it, the deal just closed a month ago. We’ve been talking to writers. We have an estate that’s very active. I’ve spent three hours with Simon Tolkien. There’s a lot of moving parts with it. We’ll have some game plan to move forward with very soon… It’ll be in production in two years; [but] 2021 is the hope.” Salke explained. “But there are other people who wish it was 2020.”
Despite early speculation it has since been confirmed that beloved director Peter Jackson won’t be returning to the franchise he is most known for. Whilst promoting his upcoming project The Mortal Engines Jackson confirmed that he will not be part of Amazon’s TV series adaptation of Middle Earth. That shouldn’t dishearten fans about Amazon’s intentions however as if the rumoured budget is true then I doubt Jackson was turned away from the project due to a lack of resources. Despite an initial report that the series would cost Amazon a whopping $500m, it has since come to light that the figure is likely to be in and around a staggering $1bn mark instead.
Although no script has officially been penned that hasn’t stopped the rumour mills from firing into full gear when it comes to any potential plot-line. According to an exclusive report by TheOneRing.net the first of five signed for seasons will focus on a younger version of Aragorn. This shouldn’t be too surprising given the links this would create to the original trilogy of films, and the wealth of story to be pulled from the Appendices of the books. If this is the case then it will of course lead to a lot of speculation and controversy over who will be cast in the role.
So whilst it’s early stages there is certainly a lot to be excited about (And worried if that’s the way you want to look at it) regarding Amazon’s adaptation of the much beloved world of Middle Earth. With the production deadline being November 2019 expect a lot of news to start breaking over the coming year and a half as Amazon gears up for what will be their most ambitious project to date.