Get set for a new journey in Middle-Earth.
We reported last week that Amazon was considering acquiring the rights for a Lord of the Rings television series. Now comes word that Amazon has closed the historic deal and will air a multi-season Lord of the Rings show. Everyone remembers that Lord of the Rings has been adapted into an already fantastic trilogy by Peter Jackson. So what exactly does Amazon want to adapt to their new series? It sounds as though Amazon will be pursuing a prequel to the tale of Frodo and Gollum.
Amazon’s statement on the project:
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.
So the deal here is a for a multi-season show with the possibility of a spin-off. Why would Amazon commit to multiple seasons of a show they haven’t even put into production yet? Well, Deadline announced that the rights to produce a Lord of the Rings TV show didn’t come easily. They said that the upfront rights payment was said to be in the $200 – $250 million range. That doesn’t even include what it will cost to actually make the series which will probably demand a budget of $100 – $150 million range. For almost half a billion dollars, Amazon has bought what they believe will be their Game of Thrones.
This new business venture comes on the heels of a monster licensing lawsuit. We reported that Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate had been in a lawsuit since 2012 and it had just been concluded. It makes sense that now the property can be shopped around again and Amazon was willing to pay the price.
There are a number of stories and characters that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings could follow. This is all for the best because we know what happens when you stretch J.R.R. Tolkien too thin. Just look what happened to The Hobbit. Whether or not it will eventually meet up to the story of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings similar to Bates Motel and Psycho remains to be seen, but there are plenty of stories to adapt. Whatever they choose, it’s certain that Amazon will expect the world out of its Lord of the Rings series and expectations should be high.