Say what you will about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, but the man seems to truly love sci-fi and fantasy. There wouldn’t have been additional seasons of The Expanse on Amazon Prime Video without Bezos’ support for the show. And as one of the richest men in the world, he was one of the few who could afford to spend reportedly $1 billion to get the series rights to The Lord of the Rings and produce The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The series will premiere in two days, and fans will soon learn if that money was well spent. Regardless, Bezos has offered his thanks to the series’ showrunners, in part for not listening to his notes.
Via Variety, Bezos gave a speech at the London premiere for The Rings of Power and shared his gratitude for showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Bezos admitted that he was very hands-on with the series. He even mentioned that Payne and McKay did take his advice in some areas. But Bezos was particularly thankful that they didn’t always listen to him.
“Every showrunner’s dream – and I mean every showrunner – their dream is to get notes on scripts and early cuts from the founder and executive chairman,” said Bezos. “They loved that. I need to thank you both for listening whenever it helped. But mostly I need to thank you for ignoring me at exactly the right times.”
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Bezos went on to explain his personal fandom for J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Hobbits, Elves, Wizards, and Dwarves.
“My grandfather’s the one who introduced me to Tolkien. I fell in love immediately,” said Bezos. “I was probably 13 or 14 years old [and] I fell in love with the adventure of course, with the detailed universe, with the feelings of hope and optimism, with the idea that everybody has a role to play. And I’m happy to report that that cycle continues today. My kids have become Tolkien fans as well.”
“In fact one of my boys I think approaches the level of a Tolkien scholar he knows so much about this universe,” continued Bezos. “And after Amazon got involved in this project, my son came up to me one day, he looked me in the eyes, very sincerely, and he said: ‘Dad, please don’t eff this up.’ And he was right. We know that this world is important to so many people, we know it’s a privilege to work inside this world and we know it’s a big responsibility.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Friday, September 2.
What do you think about Bezos’ remarks? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credits: Amazon Studios/Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images
Recommended Reading: J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
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