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Get ready to head back to Middle-earth, but this time on television.
Amazon announced on Monday that it has signed a deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust for a prequel series of multiple seasons of the events before the Lord of the Rings.
“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, Amazon Studios. “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.”
“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,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “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.”
There actually are pre-LotR stories in existence. Tolkien had tons of partially completed stories, most famously stories called The Silmarillion which deals The Fall of Númenor. There were also non-finished notes that was released as Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth. If these will be source material is unknown as Amazon could always decide to go an entirely new direction.
Reports of this deal were circulating last week with some rumors indicating it was being shopped around for $200 to $250M, and that was just for the rights. Also worth noting, apparently it doesn’t include every character for some reason. Mind you Amazon had to pay this and then will also pay for production, so this is not going to be a cheap venture for the streaming company.
No word as to when this will premiere, but there is no way it will be sooner than mid-2019 by my guess.