Variety reports that Warner Bros. and The Tolkein estate have been quietly shopping around a television series based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings book series and after interest from multiple parties, Amazon has emerged as the front runner for the series’ home. The outlet notes that no deal has been set and that talks are still early; however, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly “personally involved in the negotiations” for the series.
Though fans will likely scratch their heads at another adaptation of the property so soon after Peter Jackson’s beloved film trilogy, HBO’s Game of Thrones is set to conclude in the coming years and with it leave a giant hole in television programming that The Lord of the Rings could surely fill. Amazon has also been eager to shift their programming slate away from smaller, niche programming and more towards large-scale shows that could have international appeal, another checked box for the Tolkein series.
The Lord of the Rings was first published over the course of a year from July 1954 to October 1955 and would go on to become one of the best-selling novels ever written. Filmmaker Peter Jackson adapted the series into three feature films released in 2001, 2002, and 2003, which combined would go on to gross over $2.9 billion with 30 Academy Award nominations between the three films and 17 wins; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Director and Best Picture. Jackson would go on to adapt Tolkein’s The Hobbit as three feature films, released in 2012, 2013, and 2014, which would have a combined worldwide box office gross that matched The Lord of the Rings. The six films combined have brought in $5.8 billion at the global box office.