Warner Bros., Amazon in talks for ‘Lord of the Rings’ series adaptation
The Lord of the Rings fantasy trilogy is set to be adapted into a TV series, fifteen years after Peter Jackson’s epic three-part hit cinemas for the first time, reports Variety.
Warner Bros. Television, which currently holds the rights, and the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien are in talks with Amazon Studios to develop a series based on the novels.
The films are considered some of the best films ever made, coming 23rd, 16th and 10th in Empire’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time earlier this year. Now the long rumoured trilogy is likely to be adapted into to a TV series.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reported to be personally involved in the negotiations, which are still in very early stages. However, no deal has been set.
The studio and the Tolkien estate have been shopping a series based on the classic fantasy novels and their assortment of hobbits, wizards, and warriors, sparking a competitive situation from which Amazon has emerged as the front-runner.
Bezos is known to be a fan of high fantasy and science fiction but it is uncommon for him to be personally involved in deal-making for Amazon Studios.
The talks for The Lord of the Rings come at an uncommon moment for the e-commerce giant’s video-entertainment division as several executives including President Roy Price departed last month.
However, the pursuit is in line with a new programming directed this year by Bezos, who directed to shift Amazon Studios away from niche series such as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, and toward large-scale genre programming with potential for broad international appeal.
As part of that shift, Amazon canceled two series, Z: The Beginning of Everything and The Last Tycoon.
The fact that a Lord of the Rings series is being shopped by Warner Bros. marks a thaw in the relationship between the studio and the Tolkien estate, which in July settled a massive lawsuit that had dragged on since 2012.
The dispute, with Tolkien’s heirs and publisher HarperCollins on one side and Warner Bros., stemmed from the use characters from the movies in online slot machines and other games.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but a legal filing stated that no fees or costs were to be awarded by the court and that no party was entitled to recover fees or costs.