It seems like just yesterday we started the journey to Mordor on the big screen in 2001’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring — and now, nearly two decades later, the multi-part J.R.R. Tolkien saga is moving to television.
Amazon announced Monday that it has acquired global television rights to the LOTR franchise, and is committing to multiple seasons right out of the gate. No writers or showrunners have been attached to the project yet.
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“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 Amazon’s head of scripted TV, Sharon Tal Yguado. “We are honoured 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.”
The Amazon version of LOTR will take place in Tolkien’s fantastical universe replete with hobbits, orcs, dwarves and elves, among dozens of other creatures. The TV show will depict new storylines preceding Fellowship, and the deal includes the potential for a spinoff series.
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“We are delighted that Amazon, with its long-standing commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multiseason 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.”
The general viewing public on social media was torn; while many fans were excited to see yet another iteration of the fantasy novels, others were quick to deride it as the latest attempt to capture the Game of Thrones magic. Others didn’t know how to feel.
— Nick Brisbon (@NBrisbon) November 13, 2017
Amazon: We are making Lord of the Rings prequel series #LOTR
— Krojačica Sudbine ♔ (@MonaLisa1797) November 13, 2017
— Synthra (@ZhiteraWiggins) November 13, 2017
— Mrs C (@metasaurusrex) November 14, 2017
— Nerd Coolture (@nerdcoolture) November 14, 2017
I'm all about Lord of the Rings, but please quit making them. Tolkien was an excellent writer in creating beautiful details, and I'm ok leaving it that way. Just stop! #LOTR
— Yunnie (@yunniekim) November 13, 2017
As of this writing, the TV version of the multibillion-dollar franchise doesn’t have a projected premiere date.