Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show may incorporate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth (From The Verge)

Last November, Amazon announced that it had acquired the rights to produce a multiseason show set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The Hollywood Reporter now says that Amazon’s show might include material from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and that it must go into production “within two years.”

As the race for high-quality television content has heated up among streaming services, Amazon has been on the hunt for big, ambitious television projects to keep up with the likes of Netflix as well as Apple and Disney’s forthcoming streaming platforms. Its acquisition of The Lord of the Rings franchise brings them an enormously successful and recognizable property. Amazon reportedly beat out Netflix for the rights, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, it expects to spend around $1 billion on the show over the course of the five seasons to which it has reportedly committed.

One of the downsides to acquiring a huge property is just that: because it’s so enormously recognizable and successful, a remake will have fans wondering why the company couldn’t leave well enough alone. By working out a deal that includes New Line Cinemas and Warner Bros., Amazon seems to be sidestepping those concerns, allowing it to incorporate elements of the world that Jackson has already left engrained in the minds of moviegoing audiences. Amazon said that the project will “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” in addition to a potential spinoff series.

Tolkien’s Middle-earth is known for its size and rich history, which will give Amazon plenty of material to work with in expanding the world that Jackson realized in his two trilogies. Indeed, Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy went far beyond adapting its namesake novel, expanding the story to tease the conflict that we saw featured in his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite its steep price tag, Amazon seems to be making a safe bet by buying into not only Tolkien’s world, but Jackson’s as well.

THR reports that Jackson’s involvement in the project is uncertain, but Jackson’s attorney described the deal as a “creature of the times,” saying Amazon is “taking a page out of the studios’ emphasis on franchises.” In a world where Disney has laid out impressive, interconnected franchises with its Marvel and Star Wars properties, and HBO is considering anywhere between three and five spinoffs for Game of Thrones, Middle-earth could be a property that gives Amazon a significant boost in the coming streaming wars, one that could entice even more people to sign up for Amazon’s Prime service.


via The Verge

April 5, 2018 at 12:17PM