Amazon Amazon Confirms Multi-Season Lord of the Rings Spin-Off/Prequel Series

Neon

ネオン
#1
Lord of the Rings TV series gets multi-season order at Amazon
But story is set before Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films



The company has made a multi-season production commitment to a television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.

It’s a major deal securing one of the biggest brands in pop culture for what’s likely to be one of the most expensive TV shows ever made.

But there’s a catch, creatively speaking: The series will explore storylines set before the events in the first LOTR novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. In other words: The war to destroy the One Ring as chronicled in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films will not be told in the TV version. So this story is either set before The Hobbit or in between The Hobbit and LOTR.

This something we’ve seen with other recent TV series when they tackle major cinematic titles with certain rights restrictions. Like how Fox’s Gotham can tell the story of young Bruce Wayne but not Batman, how FX’s Legion has avoided using the term “X-Men” even though its an X-Men project, or how Syfy’s upcoming series based on The Purge films will be set in between actual Purges.

Amazon’s deal includes a potential addition of a spin-off series as well.

“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.”

There’s no cast or premiere date yet, but the series will eventually stream on Amazon Prime.

The move by Amazon comes as HBO prepares to conclude its mammoth fantasy hit Game of Thrones, which will almost certainly premiere its final six episodes in 2019. HBO is developing multiple potential prequel series based on author George R.R. Martin’s Westerosi history, though none are guaranteed to air.

In a way, Amazon’s LOTR project and HBO’s GoT prequels face the exact same challenge: The great high-stakes story and beloved characters that made each tale such a classic will have already been told — and both benefited from mining a fantasy author’s years of extraordinary effort producing more than a thousand pages of intricate creative storytelling. So can a network find writers who can successfully bootstrap a relatively new-ish story set in these familiar fantasy worlds that capture at least some percentage of the original work’s worldwide appeal?

It’s a tough call as to which company has the more difficult task. For Amazon, the stakes are rather low (the company’s stock is trading at an incredible $1,138 per share). For HBO, the stakes are very high — GoT is an unprecedented massive moneymaker for the network and a creating subscription-worthy TV is its core business (while fending off the likes of Netflix and Amazon). But HBO has a distinct creative advantage in that they’re developing five potential prequels while committing to none in advance — so the network has several chances to find a story that really works before deciding on a path. This new deal struck between the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, however, locks Amazon into a multi-year series commitment without so much as a writer yet hired — that’s the type of deal that keeps a traditional network up at night though, again, Amazon can afford the write-off if it all goes south.

Hollywood is all about world-building right now, so perhaps will be fantastic — and hopefully they will. This is what Marvel is already doing with its big screen heroes and Disney with its new Star Wars titles, after all. A series is in some respects more difficult than pulling off two-hour film, however. As a wise man once wrote: “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off…”
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#2
Lord of the Rings TV series gets multi-season order at Amazon
But story is set before Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films



The company has made a multi-season production commitment to a television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.

It’s a major deal securing one of the biggest brands in pop culture for what’s likely to be one of the most expensive TV shows ever made.

But there’s a catch, creatively speaking: The series will explore storylines set before the events in the first LOTR novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. In other words: The war to destroy the One Ring as chronicled in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films will not be told in the TV version. So this story is either set before The Hobbit or in between The Hobbit and LOTR.

This something we’ve seen with other recent TV series when they tackle major cinematic titles with certain rights restrictions. Like how Fox’s Gotham can tell the story of young Bruce Wayne but not Batman, how FX’s Legion has avoided using the term “X-Men” even though its an X-Men project, or how Syfy’s upcoming series based on The Purge films will be set in between actual Purges.

Amazon’s deal includes a potential addition of a spin-off series as well.

“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.”

There’s no cast or premiere date yet, but the series will eventually stream on Amazon Prime.

The move by Amazon comes as HBO prepares to conclude its mammoth fantasy hit Game of Thrones, which will almost certainly premiere its final six episodes in 2019. HBO is developing multiple potential prequel series based on author George R.R. Martin’s Westerosi history, though none are guaranteed to air.

In a way, Amazon’s LOTR project and HBO’s GoT prequels face the exact same challenge: The great high-stakes story and beloved characters that made each tale such a classic will have already been told — and both benefited from mining a fantasy author’s years of extraordinary effort producing more than a thousand pages of intricate creative storytelling. So can a network find writers who can successfully bootstrap a relatively new-ish story set in these familiar fantasy worlds that capture at least some percentage of the original work’s worldwide appeal?

It’s a tough call as to which company has the more difficult task. For Amazon, the stakes are rather low (the company’s stock is trading at an incredible $1,138 per share). For HBO, the stakes are very high — GoT is an unprecedented massive moneymaker for the network and a creating subscription-worthy TV is its core business (while fending off the likes of Netflix and Amazon). But HBO has a distinct creative advantage in that they’re developing five potential prequels while committing to none in advance — so the network has several chances to find a story that really works before deciding on a path. This new deal struck between the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, however, locks Amazon into a multi-year series commitment without so much as a writer yet hired — that’s the type of deal that keeps a traditional network up at night though, again, Amazon can afford the write-off if it all goes south.

Hollywood is all about world-building right now, so perhaps will be fantastic — and hopefully they will. This is what Marvel is already doing with its big screen heroes and Disney with its new Star Wars titles, after all. A series is in some respects more difficult than pulling off two-hour film, however. As a wise man once wrote: “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off…”
Terrible. Maybe if they did fresh, maybe it wouldn't be as terrible, but post Hobbit/pre LotR sounds like a slog and a half.
 

Atomic Fireball

Well-Known Member
Donator
#3
Remakes/prequels/sequels are a tricky business but Amazon is retooling Tolkien for a more vibrant modern audience

 

Neon

ネオン
#4
Terrible. Maybe if they did fresh, maybe it wouldn't be as terrible, but post Hobbit/pre LotR sounds like a slog and a half.
I don't understand why they aren't picking some other big fantasy property. There are plenty.
 

Neon

ネオン
#7
Yes. Other than GoT. You knew my point.
Yeah but the whole point of GoT was that they took something that was niche famous and made an empire out of it. Wouldn't you rather find the next LOTR than risk playing second fiddle to a modern classic?
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#8
Yeah but the whole point of GoT was that they took something that was niche famous and made an empire out of it. Wouldn't you rather find the next LOTR than risk playing second fiddle to a modern classic?
Risk? You silly bitch. I do think this Rogue One nonsense will fail though.
 
#9
Terrible. Maybe if they did fresh, maybe it wouldn't be as terrible, but post Hobbit/pre LotR sounds like a slog and a half.
They video games Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War are based in that time and aren't bad. I'm actually playing the Shadow of War game currently.

Translating that time period into a show doesn't sound like a good idea though. I'm enjoying the game very much, but I've been thinking "I wish this was after return of the king" pretty much the whole game.

I'm a little burn't out on fighting over rings and what not. There's this massive continent filled with interesting shit, and all they can cover are the stupid rings.
 
#10
Risk? You silly bitch. I do think this Rogue One nonsense will fail though.
But they had to pay a TON of money for the rights, so the mitigated risk also comes with a high risk of low profit margins. Meanwhile you buy the rights to some fantasy novel for $100,000 and make millions off it.
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#11
They video games Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War are based in that time and aren't bad. I'm actually playing the Shadow of War game currently.

Translating that time period into a show doesn't sound like a good idea though. I'm enjoying the game very much, but I've been thinking "I wish this was after return of the king" pretty much the whole game.

I'm a little burn't out on fighting over rings and what not. There's this massive continent filled with interesting shit, and all they can cover are the stupid rings.
I thought about mentioning the games because it sounds like a tie-in game, but didn't. I get why the games work. Because you're playing it and experiencing it yourself. It doesn't matter how it ties in or doesn't tie into the movie because that's not the point. The point is playing around in Middle Earth. This is pointless.
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#13
But they had to pay a TON of money for the rights, so the mitigated risk also comes with a high risk of low profit margins. Meanwhile you buy the rights to some fantasy novel for $100,000 and make millions off it.
I think Amazon is pissed they haven't had a major show yet (I think they cancelled all their dramas) so they want to do something that will get headlines and be appointment TV. They can't do that with Corgy Mage and The Bone of Destiny
 
#15
I think Amazon is pissed they haven't had a major show yet (I think they cancelled all their dramas) so they want to do something that will get headlines and be appointment TV. They can't do that with Corgy Mage and The Bone of Destiny
That's a good point.
 
#16
The point is playing around in Middle Earth.
I wish there was a game that let you do more of this in both the games and movies.

One reason I LOVED Hobbit 1 was because it was like a great action-adventure game and not like a LOTR movie. Hobbit 2-3 were more of the same.
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#17
I wish there was a game that let you do more of this in both the games and movies.

One reason I LOVED Hobbit 1 was because it was like a great action-adventure game and not like a LOTR movie. Hobbit 2-3 were more of the same.
The one reason I loved Hobbit 1 was because of the Dishes Song.

 
#18
The one reason I loved Hobbit 1 was because of the Dishes Song.

I don't know if you're being serious or not, but that was a great little scene to help introduce the dwarves.

Humans stink. Dwarves sing, build shit, eat like pigs, and then fight with axes. They're basically little vikings, with out the **** and meanness of course.

I also just remembered the little intro movie at the start of the movie. I liked that bit of world building.
 
#19
I always thought Bilbo cones off as a bit of a dick in the movies, never got that from the books.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

Watching PTI
Donator
#23
I don't have any thoughts other than don't make more than three seasons. There's never a need for a season 4.
 

chumpy

No hopes of repair
Donator
#24
Why not make a series out of Dragon Lance books Do the chronicles followed by the ledgends and thats at least six seasons of stuff.
 

LiddyRules

You Dig On Multiverses?
#25
Is there anything particularly interesting about LotR during this period outside of the wars? Hobbits, Elfs, and Trolls are dullards and men are dicks. If you're going to do Gandalf's quests or the rise of John Noble and Wormtongue then you might as well start fresh so you can go somewhere with it.
 
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