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One of the most beloved sagas of all literature is the story told in the Lord of the Rings book trilogy, which was adapted into a film trilogy that was a huge success in the box office and with critics. The heroes and villains of the saga as well as the grand battles are so large that they felt like they could only be told on the big screen. Now, however, Amazon may bring the Lord of the Rings saga to the small screen. Yes, really.
Amazon Studios is reportedly in talks with Warner Bros. Television and the estate of the late J.R.R. Tolkien to potentially develop a series based on the novels of Lord of the Rings. Sources familiar with the situation have said that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is actively involved in the dealings that could result in a Lord of the Rings TV show. Variety reports that the discussions are currently in the very early stages and have not resulted in a deal being struck, but the fact that discussions are happening at all is pretty huge.
A series based on the Lord of the Rings books has evidently been shopped around recently by Warner Bros. Television and the Tolkien estate. Unsurprisingly, competition for a Lord of the Rings show was fierce, and Amazon has reportedly emerged at the front of the pack, although neither Amazon nor Warner Bros. have commented on the situation.
While any network/platform would likely be lucky to land a property with such popular name recognition, Amazon was once known for smaller, more niche series that might not have found a home on any other platform. Some of its original series have been quite successful, including Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, and Mozart in the Jungle. Amazon is moving away from such niche programming in favor of genre programming with the potential to appeal to audiences (and markets) all over the world.
Admittedly, there were undoubtedly fans for recently cancelled Amazon series Z: The Beginning of Everything and The Last Tycoon. Still, the numbers of fans of those shows are likely meager compared to what a Lord of the Rings show could bring in. Star Trek: Discovery has been a big winner for CBS All Access; perhaps Lord of the Rings could make Amazon more competitive than ever on the streaming circuit. Netflix remains king of the streaming game, but a huge property like Lord of the Rings could push Amazon closer to the throne.
Not so long ago, the prospect of a Lord of the Rings TV series being pitched by Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate would have sounded preposterous. The studio and the estate were involved in a huge lawsuit (no, not that lawsuit) that kicked off in 2012. The suit was finally settled earlier this year in some surprising ways, and it seems that the two parties are still quite willing to work together.
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