Earlier this month, news broke that Amazon was trying to close a deal to bring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Lord of the Rings to life as a television series, and now it looks like it’s actually going to happen. Amazon has announced that it has acquired the TV rights for the book series, with a multi-season commitment. But the twist is that this will apparently be a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, rather than the story audiences already know so well.
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “We are honored 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.”
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 13, 2017
Given the rather extensive attention direction Peter Jackson gave to The Lord of the Rings, not to mention The Hobbit, it’s not unreasonable to ask why Amazon would want to walk down this path in the first place (not to mention why audiences would). 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. Given that the films are so well-known, it’s hard to see how yet another adaptation would solve that problem — but it appears that the Rings TV show will go beyond what the movies offered.
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