Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Amazon has just made a deal with J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros’ New Line Cinema to make a TV series which will take place before the events of The Fellowship Of The Ring. The series, which has already been given a multi-season commitment, will include brand new material featuring Tolkien’s characters, rather than simply recreating or leading up to familiar story elements. And, even though this project doesn’t even have a name or a writing team yet, Amazon have also announced that its deal allows for a second spin-off series as well. Says Amazon Studios executive Sharon Tal Yguado:
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. 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.”
Says HarperCollins’ Matt Galsor:
“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 J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”
What especially interests me is the possibility that material from The Silmarillion could be adapted. Tolkien’s epic prequel book, which even I found quite hard to get through, isn’t really adaptable, but there are some great stories in it like Beren and Luthien which could work really well.
Supposedly Peter Jackson is not expected to be involved in this, but what with there also being plans for a movie biopic of Tolkien, what’s the betting he might change his mind and decide to delve back into Middle-Earth for another slice of the action?