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Amazon Frontrunner To Land ‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series

Yesterday afternoon, Variety broke the news that Warner Bros. and The Tolkein estate have been quietly shopping around a television series based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings book series, and after significant interest from multiple parties, Amazon has emerged as the front runner for the series’ home. Talks are still early and no deal is in place; however, the pursuit of “The Lord of the Rings” is in line with the new programming mandate set this year by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is reportedly “personally involved in the negotiations” for the series.

Amazon CEO – Jeff Bezos
Netflix is also reportedly still in the running, but the Tolkien estate has put a very hefty price tag of $200-250 million dollars on the rights alone. A figure that has apparently already caused HBO to politely walk away from the table. A wise decision considering they already have the intensely popular Game of Thrones franchise, and on top of that, the $200-250 million payment is only for the rights, likely putting the full price of the series around the half-a-billion range once production costs are weighed in. A reality that is likely why Amazon is the frontrunner.
Reactions have also been mixed among fans. Ranging from concerns about approaching the property so soon after Peter Jackson did such a great job with the film adaptations, to incredible excitement over potentially new explorations of Tolkein’s Middle Earth, it’s deep mythos, and many characters. As a huge fan of Tolkein’s work myself, I’m probably somewhere in the middle. But, if Amazon is able to put together a high quality, fresh take on these beloved stories, Jeff Bezos will look like a genius.

The Lord of the Rings was first published over the course of a year from July 1954 to October 1955 and would go on to become one of the best selling novels ever written. Filmmaker Peter Jackson adapted the series into three feature films released in 2001, 2002, and 2003, which combined would go on to gross over $2.9 billion with 30 Academy Award nominations between the three films, including 17 wins; Jackson would go on to adapt Tolkein’s The Hobbit as three feature films, released in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The six films combined have brought in a mind-blowing $5.8 billion at the global box office.

 

Written by Tim Connolly

Tim is a Writer, Producer, and all-around Family Man.

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