The Lord of the Rings will become a series on Amazon Prime Video. The web giant’s streaming platform has signed a contract worth more than $250 million to launch production of this series aimed at attracting more customers. The case has indeed ended up under the nose of Netflix and HBO, who also coveted the rights to this series, which will have at least 5 seasons. Amazon would now be willing to invest $1 billion to produce it. Release date, cast, story, we tell you everything we know about this event series!
Lord of the Rings, the show. Amazon has signed a landmark contract with JRR Tolkien’s assignees, publisher HarpersCollins and New Line Studios. The amount would be $250 million for fees. According to this contract, Amazon commits to produce at least 5 seasons around this series inspired by the work of JRR Tolkien, 23 years after the worldwide success of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation.
More than the series itself, what is surprising is that it was Amazon that won the bet. Netflix and HBO also coveted this literary monument. That’s because Amazon has put its big checkbook on the table: Jeff Bezos’ group will spend a huge $1 billion budget – the biggest budget in history for a series. A sum that is already turning heads, like producer Peter Jackson who is currently in discussions with Amazon according to Hollywood Reporter.
For Amazon, this series is a chance to attract many more people to its Amazon Prime Video streaming platform, provided of course that the series is successful. The firm’s business model allows it to invest in many different ways, hoping to create synergies. For example, Jeff Bezos said: “we are managing to monetize (Prime Video) in a very unusual way. When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us to sell moreshoes” .
In addition to The Lord of the Rings, Amazon is accelerating its investments to expand Prime Video’s offering. Amazon has already disbursed $4.5 billion in 2017, compared to $3 billion in 2016. These figures are still far from the $8 billion invested by Netflix to produce its original content. But in this matter, it is not quantity that counts, but quality. And it’s not enough to pay for results. Nevertheless, the Amazon project is giving more and more extremely positive signals.
At the moment we don’t know exactly when the series will be released. But the $250 million contract signed in November 2017 requires Amazon to start shooting within two years. This implies that production of the series will necessarily begin before November 2019. And we may have to wait a long time to watch this adaptation, since in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Saike, head of Amazon Studio, revealed that the series may not be released until 2021.
The storyline of the series should take place before that of the three films The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson. Several tracks could be pursued by the scriptwriters: exploring the plot before Bilbo passes the ring to Frodo – obviously a very wide field. It could also be that the plot returns around Moria, the city dug under the Mist Mountains whose ruins are crossed by the Brotherhood of the Ring.
It would indeed be quite interesting to see how this once thriving city thanks to its rare metal, Mithril, has become a ruined city haunted by creatures of darkness. A theory that would have the favor of Sean Patrick Astin, the actor who plays Sam Gamgie in Peter Jackson’s films. Or a million other intrigues given the vast lore around The Lord of the Rings: J.R.R. Tolkien left behind hundreds of documents and appendices on the history of Middle-earth.
According to TheOneRing, which quotes from “multiple sources“, The Lord of the Amazon Rings series will focus on the youth of Aragorn, at least for season 1. Among other things, we could discover how the prowler and heir to the throne of Gondor met Gandalf and Legolas for the first time. It is not impossible that each season is dedicated to a different era or character each time. What is in any case official is that Amazon has gone to get the writers of Star Trek 4 for its series The Lord of the Rings. JD Payne and Patrick McKay will be at the helm.
Several actors from Peter Jackson’s films would apparently like to resume their roles in this series. But first let’s talk about the ones we’re pretty sure we won’t see on screen anymore: John Rhys Davies, the actor who plays Gimli, was very critical of Amazon for producing a series after Peter Jackson’s work. There’s also Andy Serkis, the actor from Gollum who told ScreenCrush “is a new approach, and I can’t really imagine being part of.
Conversely, Ian McKellen, the actor who plays Gandalf, remarked in an interview with the BBC : “Gandalf is more than 7000 years old, so I’m not too old”. Sean Patrick Astin, the actor who plays Sam Gamgie, has also expressed interest in participating in the new series in the columns of Entertainment Weekly. We could therefore imagine that, in addition to Peter Jackson, who is being called back, part of the cast of the films would come back. Enough already to make us expect a great show!
Of course, we are still relatively far from the release of the series. But we will regularly update this file with all the information we have about The Lord of the Rings series. What do you think of Amazon’s participation in this project? Do you think that behind the scenes all the details are already almost locked? Share your opinion in the comments!