Amazon is bringing 'The Lord of the Rings' to the small screen

November 15, 2017 by Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times

A "Lord of the Rings" TV series is coming to Amazon.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant announced Monday that is has acquired the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels. It has given a multiple-season commitment to a TV adaptation slated to debut on its streaming service.

The series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment behind the film adaptations.

The TV adaptation will, according to a press release, "explore new storylines preceding 'The Fellowship of the Ring.'" The deal also allows for potential spinoff 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," said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios. "We are ... thrilled to be taking 'The Lord of the Rings' fans on a new epic journey in Middle-earth."

It makes sense that Amazon would pursue the rights to the fantasy novels. CEO Jeff Bezos has made it known that he wants the streamer to find its own "Game of Thrones." And "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and Sean Astin among others, grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide.

"We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television for 'The Lord of the Rings,'" said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins.

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