Lord of the Rings - TV Series (Amazon) ETA 2021

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series Shopped With Huge Rights Payment Attached

Move over Game of Thrones, in a deal that is expected to dwarf any TV series to date, J.R.R. Tolkien estate has been shopping a possible series based on the late author’s The Lord of the Rings novels with a whopping price tag attached.

Amazon, Netflix and HBO had been approached about the project, which comes with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200 – $250 million range. That is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production. It is a payment that has to be made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series. (I hear the pitch at HBO involved producer Jane Tranter whose company is partially owned by HBO and Sky but the general package has no talent attached.) On top of that, the budget for a fantasy series of that magnitude is likely to be $100-$150 million a season.

Amazon and Netflix are still in the running while HBO, home of blockbuster fantasy series Game Of Thrones, passed awhile back because of the the finances of the deal that many industry observers call “insane.” Additionally, industry sources note that there are already three great Lord Of the Rings movies and a total of six movies in the world made, along with the Hobbit films. Plus, I hear that the rights for a TV series in the Lord of the Rights do not encompass all characters and are limited.

Given Amazon’s mandate to launch a big fantasy series of the scope of Game Of Thrones, which comes directly from honcho Jeff Bezos, and Amazon’s deep coffers, the company is considered a leading contender for a Lord Of the Rings series. (For context, the price tag for the rights to Lord Of the Rings is what Bezos payed for Washington Post.) Bezos has been hands-on involved in the matters of entertainment division Amazon Studios following the purge of its top executives, led by Roy Price, and has been taking meetings and making calls to agents over the past two weeks. Amazon’s talks for a Lord of the Rings TV series were first reported by Variety.


The Lord of the Rings deal would dwarf some big-ticket series commitments Amazon has made over the last couple of years — $80 million for the six-episode Woody Allen show Crisis in Six Scenes, $70+ million for Matt Weiner’s eight-episode The Romanoffs, and $160 for two seasons of David O. Russell’s series, which now has been axed after about $40 million spent. (The last two series originally came from The Weinstein Co., which no longer has involvement in The Romanoffs)

The possible Lord of the Rings TV series is done in conjunction with Warner Bros. TV, whose film studio counterpart produced the feature trilogy in the 2000s. The TV studio would not comment on the talks, which are preliminary.

The TV series pitch comes on the heels of Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate in July settling an $80 million rights dispute over The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings after a grueling five-year court battle.

The Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins filed the massive lawsuit in November 2012 against Warner Bros., its subsidiary New Line and Middle-earth Enterprises — a division of Rings’ Hobbit rightsholder the Saul Zaentz Co. — claiming copyright infringement and breach of contract over video games, online slot machines and other digital merchandising.

Launched at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy was a global phenomenon. Starring Elijah Wood, In McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and others, the three films combined to gross more than $2.9 billion worldwide. LOTR: The Two Towers was released in 2002, and The Return of the King arrived the following year, becoming only the second film to top $1 billion worldwide. That third installment won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay. The previous two combined to win six Academy Awards in crafts categories.

‘Lord of the Rings’: Amazon, Warner Bros. in Talks for Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series Shopped With Huge Rights Payment Attached

A TV Version Of Lord Of The Rings Is Underway
 
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richardb70

Distinguished Member
Can't see this happening.
 

rampant

Member
oh lordy yes please ....

just dont make it teen-crap like the shannara - there is so much material that they could use
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Never going to happen with those sort of numbers.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
If this was a big budget Silmarillion adaptation then this would be great news. Otherwise this is pointless.

Is the estate running out of money or something? They probably should have invested in a Lithuanian shopping centre like Bono.
 

rampant

Member
If this was a big budget Silmarillion adaptation then this would be great news. Otherwise this is pointless.

Is the estate running out of money or something? They probably should have invested in a Lithuanian shopping centre like Bono.

thats quite a negative approach to what is arguably the daddy of all modern fantasy writings .... the Silmarillion would be very difficult to do, as its more of short stories about the creation of the world and the initial lives of the elves.

Setting it sometime before the 4th age could tell some great tales in the 'lotr universe' (since i assume they dont want them to use main characters from the books etc)

if you have ever played LOTRO, there is a great writer who made a quest line which ran for nearly a year (adventures bingo boffin) which was actually a really good story quest line - this is how they could approach a TV series without being involved with the main war of the ring storyline.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Maybe I'm not understanding the intent here, I thought it was for a LOTR TV series? In which case it would be Frodo, Sam, Tom Bombadil frollicking on a tussock, Sauron, Saruman etc. We've had some cracking films which have covered the same ground (minus Tom) hence the "pointless" remark.

If they are talking about other works set in the same universe then great :). Silmarillion would maybe be possible (very ambitious!), one episode dealing with each story perhaps. Would love to see "Beren and Luthien" done well.
 

encaser

Member
If GoT can make can make est. $1 billion annually, then I'm sure a LoTR series could match or better it depending on platform and, of course, it being any good.
The larger sticking point is the amount of competition around of late. Although it may make a welcome difference to all the superhero stuff.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
I stand corrected! Although it will be set prior to the Fellowship:

The new show will take place in Tolkien's Middle Earth before the events of the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.

So it's more of a "Middle Earth" series than LOTR, I guess? Can't help feeling that a series set between The Hobbit and LOTR is a bit of a wasted opportunity though.
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
I have a somewhat puny maths brain, but even so, how are they ever going to break even with this? Or is it just somewhere to redirect all the cash they should have paid in tax?
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I stand corrected! Although it will be set prior to the Fellowship:



So it's more of a "Middle Earth" series than LOTR, I guess? Can't help feeling that a series set between The Hobbit and LOTR is a bit of a wasted opportunity though.

It's Hobbits so it'll be great. Everyone will want to watch Sam G watering a few plants here and there. Worth $200m of anyones money.

Bri
 

Kelltic

Well-known Member
Setting it between The Hobbit and LOTR does allow them some interesting scope though - focus on Aragorn and his life as a Ranger for example, exploring the Dunedain and Arnor, how he met Elrond and Arwyn, battles with Orcs and gobllins in the north. You can bring in Gandalf, Gollum etc. It has scope, like everything it would all depend on the script and how well written it is. For the Silmarillion, give me 'when Beren met Luthien' a love story set amidst lots of elves getting killed :thumbsup:
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
Look forward to what will Amazon do with the potential second spin-off series, in addition to the main series, just hope they get it right from casting, to production, etc, they could do with Weta involved
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Would love Weta involvement, can't imagine PJ is champing at the bit though.
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
Would love Weta involvement, can't imagine PJ is champing at the bit though.

I'm sure they would not turn down the cash, FX & VFX houses have and are being squeezed to get jobs done at low costs all the time, hence so many closures, hopefully a deal that suits all parties is reached. Amazon must not skim on the finish product.
 

Mark One

Active Member
Will give it a go, have watched the Lord of the Rings films, I thought they were OK. So far not watched the Hobbit films.
 

BlueOrange25

Well-known Member
I'm looking forward to it. Love the franchise and a return to Middle-Earth is more than welcome.

And yes. It's because of people like me that they keep rinsing Tolkien's work for more money... ;)
 

rampant

Member
so 200 mil per series - say 10-12 episodes per series - around 20mil per episode... around double of GOT? I hope it is very good :)
 

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