Major news from Middle Earth: Amazon is adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings into a TV show.
The online retailer and streaming TV platform is also committing to multiple seasons, proving that it’s serious about staying in the world of the Rings for the foreseeable future. Amazon will work with the Tolkien estate, HarperCollins, and New Line to create the show.
Notably, the series will include plotlines set before The Fellowship of the Ring, and a “potential additional spin-off” is part of the 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,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “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.”
“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”
Deadline reports that Netflix, HBO, and Amazon were all competing for the rights, which cost in the $200 million range on their own. In other words, Amazon paid that much just to be able to take on the project — this does not include the cost of the production. And if Amazon wants this to be their Game of Thrones, then it’s going to cost a LOT of money.
Warner Brothers adapted The Lord of the Rings into movies between 2001 and 2003. A decade later they turned The Hobbit into a trilogy.