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13 November 2017, 11:37 | Myron Mathis
CREDIT New Line Cinema
Amazon has announced that it has acquired the TV rights for the book series, with a multi-season commitment.
"We are delighted that Amazon, with its long-standing commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for 'The Lord of the Rings, ' " Matt Galsor, representing the Tolkien estate and trust and HarperCollins, said in the statement.
The new screen effort will transport fans to the fictional setting of Middle Earth as it explores new storylinesprecedingThe Fellowship Of The Ring, the first part of Tolkien's fantasy trilogy.
It's possible the new series will mine the ponderous but rich Silmarillion for material, as fan fiction writers and lore aficionados have done for decades.
The announcement marks the studio's biggest acquisition since former Amazon Studios president Roy Price resigned last month while on suspension and facing sexual harassment allegations. Amazon has been pretty good about its Originals, but this will be an undertaking far beyond the scope of anything its studios and partners have yet attempted. Amazon's press release does note that the deal with the Tolkien estate "includes a potential additional spin-off series".
Interestingly enough, Warner Bros. was famously sued by the Tolkien estate after the family and publisher HarperCollins went after the studio due to the use characters from the movies in online slot machines and other games. (The same could be said for audiences.) Part of it is Amazon Studios' newfound focus, with Jeff Bezos himself reportedly asking the division to focus more on big, prestige-worthy shows with global appeal, similar to Game of Thrones.
Three movies made of the trilogy in the early 2000s, filmed in New Zealand and based on Tolkien's novels, garnered almost US$3 billion (S$4 billion) at the box office and 17 Academy Awards.
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