Following up on reports earlier this month that a series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's world-renowned fantasy series Lord of the Rings was in development at Amazon, the streaming service has announced that the series is receiving a multi-season production commitment. Variety reported exclusively on the initial development news, which is set to be produced by Amazon Studios in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
The new television series will explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring, with the deal also including potential additional spinoff series based in and around the world of Middle Earth.
"'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."
– Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios
As film adaptations go, The Lord of the Rings franchise has proved very lucrative for New Line Cinema and director Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures), earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide. With a cast that included Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, and Orlando Bloom, the three films would go on to earn 17 Oscars (including one for Best Picture).
"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."
– Matt Galsor, Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins