Amazon lands Lord of the Rings TV remake

Eric Kripke

Perhaps some things missed in Peter Jackson's movies will find their way into this - maybe we'll even see Tom Bombadil, who occupied only one chapter in a book, but captured many people's imaginations.

However, fans anxious that the TV show will attempt to retell the story need not be concerned; the series will instead "explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring", and will therefore be set before the events from the Oscar-winning trilogy.

TV's awakening, and in some sense surpassing, of movies as audiences' go-to medium just entered a new phase with the inking of deals to bring a hugely popular fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings, and a best-selling videogame, Hitman, to television platforms. The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros.

"[We] are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth", she added. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.

"The Lord of the Rings" was named Amazon customers' favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain's best-loved novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read survey in 2003. Peter Jackson's trilogy reportedly earned nearly $3bn worldwide, for instance.

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and others, the three films combined to gross more than Dollars 2.9 billion worldwide.

This is an unbelievably massive project for Amazon.

Note that the price tag being reported included only the television rights and not any development or productions costs, which could equal those totals.



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