- Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to adapt "The Lord of the Rings" into a multi-season TV series, for a reported cost of "close to $250 million."
- The studio said the series will "explore new storylines" preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" novels.
- Fans are speculating that could mean an adaptation of "The Silmarillion," a posthumously published prequel by Tolkien.
- The announcement follows a shift in strategy for Amazon Studios that was reportedly orchestrated by CEO Jeff Bezos, in pursuit of a big show like HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Amazon announced Monday that it had acquired the rights to adapt "The Lord of The Rings," J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel series, into a multi-season TV series.
Amazon Studios will produce the original series, which the company said will "explore new storylines" preceding the Tolkien novels. Those novels were previously adapted into an Oscar-winning film series (starting with "The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2001). Some fans are speculating that could mean an adaptation of "The Silmarillion," a posthumously published prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien.
The announcement follows a recent strategy shift at Amazon Studios that was reportedly orchestrated by CEO Jeff Bezos himself. Roy Price, the former head of the studio, said in September that Amazon would be pursuing a "big show" in the vein of "Game of Thrones." (Price resigned in October following sexual harassment allegations made against him).
According to Deadline, Amazon's purchase of the global rights for the series came with an upfront payment of "close to $250 million" to the Tolkien estate. That staggering figure excludes all future costs for development and production of the series.
Bezos tweeted the "Lord of the Rings" announcement Monday afternoon, writing "Amazon Prime heads to Middle Earth."
Sharon Tal Yguado, the head of scripted series at Amazon Studios, also provided the following statement on the series:
"'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."