Amazon Commits to Multi-Season Deal for Lord of the Rings Series

Middle-earth is going to Amazon!  The massive retail and streaming service company announced on Monday that they have agreed to a multi-season deal with J.R.R. Tolkien‘s estate and trust to produce a The Lord of the Rings series.  After paying the lofty price tag, Amazon acquired the global television rights to the vast world of which 2 movie trilogies and 2 video games have been made about.  

The series will be produced in-house at Amazon Studios in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s New Line Cinema.  Amazon’s series will take place before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, featuring new storylines that will likely shape the events we’ve seen in the future.  The deal also sets up the possibility of a spin-off, later on.

Having the series take place BEFORE the Fellowship of the Ring, opens it up to stories previously untold and characters yet to be explored.  It’s unclear how far into the past we’d be going but it’ll be interesting to see a new side of Middle-earth be uncovered.  However, with The Hobbit and the Shadow series already being done, Amazon’s series will need to figure out a way to be fresh without telling the same story over and over.

“The Lord of the Ringsis a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Amazon’s new head of scripted television. “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 takingThe Lord of the Ringsfans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

Amazon jumped at the chance to purchase these rights after CEO Jeff Bezos mandated that the streaming service pivot to a more genre-based system.  It’s unconfirmed how much Amazon spent for the series, but it was previously reported that it was upwards of $250 million just to own the rights.  If that’s the case, Amazon will be motivated to make this series into a serious contender to compete with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

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