News of an upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series has been confirmed, exciting all ‘Ringers’ and ‘Tolkeinheads’ around the world.
As we’ve discussed here, companies that began as online social media and eCommerce platforms alike understand that video content is the largest traffic driver on the web. Facebook has already released its own original shows following in Netflix’s wildly-successful footsteps.
On Monday, Amazon Studios confirmed that the company had acquired the rights to turn the famous J.R.R Tolkien novel series into a multi-season TV series. The once rumored Lord of the Rings TV series is said to be a part of the strategy shift Jeff Bezos orchestrated to produce a show that will be in the same league as Game of Thrones.
Back in September, Amazon Studios head Roy Price (who resigned in October due to sexual harassment allegations), told Variety:
“I do think ‘Game of Thrones’ is to TV as ‘Jaws’ and ‘Star Wars’ was to the movies of the 1970s. It’ll inspire a lot of people. Everybody wants a big hit and certainly that’s the show of the moment in terms of being a model for a hit.”
Prior to the acquisition of rights by Amazon, the Lord of the Rings novels were first adapted into a film series released from 2001 to 2003. Given the success of the film trilogy, experts are quite skeptical about how Amazon will execute its Lord of the Rings TV series.#Amazon announced acquiring rights to the #LordOfTheRings TV SeriesClick To Tweet
Lord of the Rings TV Series: A Fresh New Take on J.R.R Tolkien’s Novels
According to Amazon’s announcement, the studio’s television adaptation will explore new storylines, a possible spinoff series, based on the period preceding The Fellowship of the Ring. Some fans even speculate that the adaptation would also include The Silmarillion, a posthumously published prequel to the Lord of the Rings novel series–which is what should excite ‘Tolkeinheads’ more specifically.
“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, Amazon Studios new head 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.”
The Lord of the Rings TV series was also confirmed by Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien estate and trust. He said:
“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings. Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on JRR Tolkien’s original writings.”
The Monday announcement was followed by a tweet from Bezos saying “Amazon Prime heads to Middle Earth.”
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 13, 2017
Deadline reported that Amazon shed around $250 million USD to win the rights to the famous Tolkien series. Aside from Amazon, the Tolkien estate also approached Netflix and HBO for the project. On top of the shopped price cited by Deadline, the fantasy series of that magnitude is estimated by financial experts to cost between $100 and $150 million USD to produce.
Given the speculated franchise value of the Lord of the Rings TV series, there’s no doubt Bezos is getting more and more aggressive about producing high-quality content to increase Amazon Prime‘s viewership.