Lord Of The Rings TV show under discussion at Amazon
Amazon is reportedly in talks with the estate of J R R Tolkien to develop a TV show based on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Although no deal has yet been reached, several industry magazines have reported Warner Bros Television wants Tolkien’s seminal work to be adapted to the small screen, 15 years after the end of the film franchise.
According to Variety, Amazon Studios’ CEO Jeff Bezos is “personally involved” in the project which would align with Amazon’s push for more mainstream genre programming and fewer new indie shows, like Transparent and I Love Dick.
The Hollywood Reporter has also quoted sources who say the main obstacle to the show’s production is a rights issue with the Tolkien estate.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros and the legal body which manages the writer’s work settled an $80m (£61m) lawsuit over profit participation in regards to the film franchise.
For five years, the two bodies were embroiled in court proceedings, after the author’s estate said the studio overstepped the mark and made millions selling unauthorised merchandising.
Priscilla Tolkien, daughter of the famed British author, said the deal made with Warner in 1969 did not cover merchandising like video games or mobile apps, which the studio had profitted from.
The family also claimed Warner “outraged” Tolkien fans by using his characters in online gambling games and casino slot machines.
With the case settled out of court, though, it could mean the two parties are back on good terms.
Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy made a total of nearly $3bn (£2.2bn) at the box office when it was released in three instalments between 2001 and 2003.
All three films got an Oscar nomination for best picture with the last film, The Return Of The King, winning the gong.
Jackson has since done another, less profitable, trilogy based on The Hobbit, and there are no reports of him being attached to this project as yet.
Since the news broke on Twitter, fans have been voicing their discontent with such an “unnecessary” adaptation of a trilogy which premiered not that long ago.
“I usually have tolerance for most remakes, but this is 100% uncalled for. No part of me wants this,” one user wrote.
“No please stop. The greatest trilogy ever made…dont touch it. At least for a while. Ugh,” wrote another.
While others have been less negative, most agree that adapting the books to TV is “treading on some very thin ice”.