A Return to Middle-Earth Could Be Happening, with Warner Bros. and Amazon in Early Talks

Image copyright Warner Bros. 2001

15 years after the Lord of the Rings was pulling in audiences around the world, Warner Bros. are looking to make a TV series out of the J.R.R. Tolkien epic.

According to VarietyWarner Bros. is apparently looking to team up with Amazon to adapt Tolkien’s beloved series into a TV show, with the Tolkien estate involved with the discussions.

The talks are said to be in very early stages – with Netflix and HBO also in consideration at this moment in time – however, negotiations are definitely underway.

Amazon is currently the frontrunners for Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate after the two began searching around for a potential partner, which has apparently sparked off a competitive situation among various – and unnamed – interested parties.

Whilst not quite as well-known as Netflix for their original programming, Amazon has been making huge leaps in the industry over the past few years, with shows like American Gods, The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour, Transparent, and The Tick all proving to be successful and popular amongst audiences.

Amazon is reportedly looking to turn its attention towards more genre-specific programming in hopes of broader international appeal, and the addition of a series the calibre of Lord of the Rings in stock, the company could well achieve this goal.

 

The good-natured partnership between Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate comes after the latter had sued the studio due to misuse of their characters from the movies within online slot machines as well as other games. The lawsuit had been ongoing since 2012, but Warner Bros. settled this past July for an undisclosed amount, and the pair are now on good terms once again.

Previously, Warner Bros. had adapted the works of Tolkien for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy which spanned from 2001 to 2003, and the prequel Hobbit trilogy which followed between 2012 to 2014.

The films were all directed by Peter Jackson and took in around $5 billion at the worldwide box office, with the original trilogy earning $2.96 billion.

Interest in the franchise is still high as the series continues to see more attention thanks to Warner Bros. games; Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and 2017 sequel Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.

Recently, Sean Astin, who starred as Samwise Gamgee within the original film trilogy and has recently starred in Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 2 as Bob Newby, spoke to EW Radio about the Amazon plans, saying;

“I saw that the other day, and I though that was intriguing.

I’ve been saying for 15 years that maybe like 12 years after Lord of the Rings came out, that it would get remade.

And people always said, ‘Oh no, it’s never get remade! It’s a classic! They could never top it!’

And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll get remade. It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved!'”

 

-James, 09/11/2017

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