It’s official: Amazon will bring Middle Earth to TV audiences. The streaming platform just inked a massive deal with J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate to buy the global TV rights to “The Lord of the Rings.” According to Deadline, the nearly $250 million deal includes a multi-season commitment and potential spinoff series.
The “Lord of the Rings” series will be a prequel to “The Fellowship of the Ring,” to be produced by Amazon Studios in collaboration with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. who produced director Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. No details about the deal have been publicized, but Deadline reports that the deal is bigger than any other TV series pact. The $250 million price tag was just for the TV rights and doesn’t take into account development, talent or production. The series seems to be Amazon’s big play for a fantasy series along the lines of “Game of Thrones.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos handled the deal himself, a rarity for Amazon Studios.
Though Tolkien’s works have been beloved for decades, the author’s fantasy epic shot to critical fame with Jackson’s film adaptation “Lord of the Rings.” With the story spread across three films, the trilogy starred Elijah Wood (“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”), Ian McKellen (“X-Men” series), Liv Tyler (“”), Sean Bean (“The Martian”), Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”), Sean Astin (“Stranger Things”), Cate Blanchett (“Thor: Ragnarok”), Orlando Bloom (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and more. In a rare show of love for a popular franchise, the trilogy won 17 Oscars including honors for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay. The trilogy grossed $3 billion worldwide, and also spawned a “Hobbit” prequel series.
No premiere date has been released.