Variety recently broke the news that Amazon, Warner Bros. Television, and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien are all in talks to develop a Lord of the Rings television series adaptation. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has stressed that the talks are still in the early stages and no official deal has yet been reached.
This news comes only two months after Amazon articulated its future goals for its original programming and publicly announced it would be cancelling multiple series in order to clear its slate and make room for a big-budget series that would draw viewers and raise Amazon Studios’ prestige.
Amazon Studios has said it wants to find “big shows that can make the biggest difference around the world”, referencing HBO’s hit Game of Thrones as an example of what direction Amazon would like to go.
In this way, it makes sense that Amazon would look to Lord of the Rings in hopes to make the next big series to follow in the wake of Game of Thrones, as both book series were revolutionary to the fantasy genre. But many Lord of the Rings fans remain wary, arguing that outside their shared genre, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are nothing alike. Some claim that it would be a mistake to force Tolkien’s work to fit the mold HBO’s series has formed.
Variety notes that these development talks mark an important step in the relationship between the Tolkien estate and Warner Brothers. The two just settled a long, drawn-out lawsuit this past summer, and their work together with Amazon suggests a move forward.
It will be interesting to watch if the deal moves forward and how Amazon will go about adapting such a beloved series into a television series.