That's right! Lord of the Rings is coming to Amazon with a multiple season commitment! There's still a lot we wish to know about this exciting announcement: who will be in the cast, who will produce and direct, when the series will be released, who the writer will be, what the name of the show will be, etc.
But what do we know so far? Amazon, which now has the TV rights to the Lord of the Rings book series, has mandated that it will have a scope as big as HBO's Game of Thrones; an exciting declaration that holds lots of promise for the LOTR fanbase, which will undoubtedly grow; they're looking at a budget of 100-150 million a season---you get the idea of how huge this is going to be. In fact, HBO, as well as Netflix, were both originally asked to produce this new series in the Tolkienverse also, and if you google "Lord of the Rings TV series," you'll come up with all these articles that will talk about the uproar HBO has caused in declining the offer that is now on the shoulders of Amazon and Warner Bros. You can read more about that here.
The new LOTR TV adaption has some creative restrictions on what can and can't be included in the storyline. Representative Matt Galsor of Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins says that they have "exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.” We've also heard that the series will chronologically take place before the first Lord of the Rings movie, The Fellowship of the Ring. Where in time this will take place exactly (before or after Bilbo's time, as told in The Hobbit book and movies?), we don't know, but there are so many stories and books and writings by J. R. R. Tolkien covering a expansive time stretch in the Middle Earth universe that the possibilities are nearly endless. I'm sure many would agree with me that a filmed adaption of the tale of Beren and Luthien would be awesome.
The huge announcement said nothing about there being any crossover between the original Lord of the Rings movies and this new Amazon series. Personally, I hope that if this were to happen that it would only be communicated through Easter Eggs and subtle nods to the earlier movies and, hopefully, the books. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that actors and characters from the movies won't show up in this series as I would like to see something new and completely different (the best thing I can compare this to is Star Wars and Harry Potter with totally different time eras, stories, and characters, but with the same world with the newer movies). But as a Tolkien fan of both the original LOTR trilogy and the movies, I'll be watching Episode 1 with lower expectations for fear of getting any high hopes dashed, after the last three Hobbit movies.
"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." - Matt Galsor
I'm really looking forward to finding out about the cast and crew and, more specifically, further details on production and what will be expected to be featured in the story of this new Lord of the Rings series. Will Howard Shore be composing the music, or are they going for something new altogether with the feel of the soundtrack itself? Indeed, the question is how much they will deviate from the style and feel of the original movies, and I'm actually really excited to see how this series will turn out.
What are you looking forward to the most with this Lord of the Rings TV series? What would you like to see happen or not happen? Any ideal actors, writers, directors, or composers you would like to see involved with this production? Let us know in the comment section below!