The internet is frantically trying to figure out all the details of a brand new Lord of the Rings TV show after the rumor broke a few days ago. Rumors are still swirling around this new series, and it's hard to figure out what's fake and what's real. But the basic truth is that the show will probably happen, and there are numerous studios that are trying to buy the rights as we speak. It all seems to have started after a court case between the Tolkien Estate and Warner Bros, and a settlement on the part of the Tolkien Estate means that the rights to a potential TV series are up for grabs.
But people are still trying to figure out what the show will actually be like. Who's going to star in it? What will the story be based on? All these things are as yet unknown, but there are countless rumors. Some are based more on fact, others are based more on logical deductions. Others are just wild rumors, but they are intriguing nonetheless. What's clear is that there is massive competition between various studios who want to make this a reality, with Amazon Studios and Netflix coming out as the favorites to land the deal.
If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, this will probably make you feel extremely excited. But other fans aren't so sure. They're unsure about how this series will actually turn out, and whether it will be any good. There's only one way to find out, and that's to wait until it reaches the small screen.
15 It Could Be The Result Of A Lawsuit Between Warner Bros. And The Tolkien Estate
This all might've been made possible after a massive court case between Warner Bros. and the Tolkien Estate. The family members of the author of the original Lord of the Rings books, as well as The Hobbit, is famously reluctant to let anyone touch their father's work. The main surviving descendant of the author, Christopher Tolkien, actually hated Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies, as well as his adaptation of The Hobbit. He was the principal force behind a lawsuit against Warner Bros for illegally profiting off his father's legacy.
This lawsuit mostly revolved around the unapproved use of the character's likeness in things like slot machines and other pieces of merchandise, but the court case's outcome has much greater implications. The Tolkien estate actually settled the court case for a sum of around $60 million, meaning that the dispute is essentially over, and that Warner Bros is free to make future movies and use Tolkien's intellectual property for future projects. This happened just four months after the news of a Lord of the Rings TV show was announced, so it's hardly a coincidence.
14 It Might Just Put Game Of Thrones Out Of Business
It doesn't take a genius to see that this TV show is meant to be a direct competitor to Game of Thrones. Someone at Amazon (presumably Bezos) has seen the immense success of Game of Thrones, and thought, "We should make a show like that." It's probably the most popular show in the world right now, so trying to imitate is definitely a good idea if you're trying to win widespread appeal. The Lord of the Rings show could turn out to be very similar to Game of Thrones if it were ever made, and this could lead to the same level of success, in theory. You know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, copy 'em.
But who's really copying who here? The Lord of the Rings TV show might be inspired by Game of Thrones, but the original Game of Thrones books drew huge inspiration from Tolkien's books. You could say that Game of Thrones is just a knock-off version of Lord of the Rings. Maybe if Lord of the Rings gets made into a TV show, it will draw attention away from Game Of Thrones. After all, who wants a knock-off when you have the real thing?
13 It Could Include Adult Scenes
We've already mentioned the fact that this new Lord of the Rings TV series will probably be put forward as a direct rival to Game of Thrones. But how will a Lord of the Rings show manage to compete with a show like that? After all, Game of Thrones is filled with all kinds of content that you definitely wouldn't see in a Peter Jackson movie. There are numerous, graphic scenes, as well as incredible amount of gore and violence, not to mention extremely adult themes.
These kinds of situations aren't really mentioned in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies, but this could definitely change with a TV series, especially if the series is meant to compete with Game of Thrones. After all, with a TV series, we'll be able to focus in more on the day-to-day lives of the people of Middle-Earth, and this includes their relationships. If you've ever wondered what elves get up to in the bedroom, or how Orcs torture Hobbits, this show might shed some light on those things.
12 It Could Be Much More Culturally Diverse
Another rumor that has been floating around about this TV show is that it will be much more culturally diverse. This was one of the criticisms a lot of people had about the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, as there were very little people of color. We started to see this change in The Hobbit movies, as there were much more diverse people. But again, this was pretty much limited to just the town folk, and most of the heroes in the movie were white. The entertainment industry is really changing these days, and a forward-thinking studio like Amazon is probably going to cast more diverse actors in leading roles.
Obviously, some people won't be too happy about this, but it will give the Lord of the Rings movies a fresh new appeal to many people. After all, the whole point of Amazon making this TV show is that it will give their studio a wider, more international appeal. We've seen it work before in genres that are "supposed" to be white-dominated, such as Heimdall in Thor being black, even though he's a Norse god. Who knows? We might actually get to see Morgan Freeman as Gandalf.
11 Sean Astin May Have Predicted This
One actor who might have some inside information about this TV show is Sean Astin. He actually claims that he predicted that the TV show would eventually be made, but was it really just based on intuition? Or does he know more about this than he's letting on?
Sean claims that he predicted the whole thing, saying, "I’ve been saying for 15 years that maybe like 12 years after Lord of the Rings came out, that it would get remade. And people always said, ‘Oh no, it’ll never get remade! It’s a classic! They could never top it!’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll get remade. It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved.’”
But when he was asked about details, he was rather tight-lipped: “I’m carrying the Samwise banner for the Peter Jackson version of Lord Of The Rings. When I saw the Amazon thing, that didn’t even occur to me. I just sort of thought, ‘What would it be like to see the next Sam there?’ I think it’s an intriguing idea [but] the devil’s in the details. How would they do it? How? Who?”
10 It Could Be As Bad As "The Hobbit" Movies
While most of us look back on the Lord of the Rings movies with extreme fondness, the same can not be said for The Hobbit films. There is an obvious and disappointing gap in quality between the two trilogies, and it's a shame that Peter Jackson's franchise had to end on such a low note. The Hobbit just didn't have the same kind of charm as the first trilogy, and it's unclear what exactly went so wrong. It seemed much less serious, which was actually how the book was written – more geared towards children rather than adults. It's hard to pin down why these movies were so much worse than the Lord of the Rings films, but it's clear that something was missing.
Many people have accused The Hobbit movies of being just a selfish money grab. To many, it seemed as though Peter Jackson was just trying to milk the franchise for all it was worth. This argument carries even more weight when you consider the fact that The Hobbit was stretched into three movies, when there was only one book. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was based on three separate books, which makes more sense. Peter Jackson probably won't be directing this TV show, but the fact that the last movie franchise in the Lord of the Rings universe was such as failure could be seen as a bad omen. We definitely don't want to see just another "money grab."
9 It Could Be An Entirely New Storyline
One of the biggest questions fans have about the rumored new show is how exactly it's going to work. Will this be a remake of Lord of the Rings? Will it be a remake of The Hobbit? Will it focus on previously untouched works from Tolkien? All of these are strong possibilities, but perhaps one of the most intriguing possibilities is that it will be an entirely new story that we've never seen or heard before. Admittedly, this is probably one of the least likely possibilities, but it's a promising one nonetheless.
Many fans have expressed a desire to see more of certain characters in this new TV series. In particular, they would like to see their backstories become more fleshed out, and see what it was like for them when they were young. For example, what was Gandalf like when he was a young man? How did he learn his magic? What about Aragorn's past as a Ranger, or Legolas' many years as an elven warrior? All of these things are strong possibilities.
8 It Could Tackle Important Social Issues
Another strong rumor about this show is that the series will actually tackle important social issues within its storyline. A close examination of Lord of the Rings will reveal that the story is all symbolism for real-world events. The entire story can be seen as an allegory for World War II, albeit a slightly less complex one. Also, the ring of power is an extremely obvious symbol for political corruption, and how people in power almost always become corrupt.
The new TV show would continue with this trend of symbolism, but would update the symbols to be more fitting with modern day issues. Things like immigration and gender equality would almost certainly be key focuses of this show. Are Orcs really evil? Or are they just misunderstood? Should we really be building walls and towers to keep the orcs out? Or should we start welcoming them into our lands, allowing them to enrich our culture in the process? The symbolism of these problems is obvious in our current political climate, and these will probably be touched upon in the new series.
7 The Series Could Draw Inspiration From The Silmarillion, Another LOTR Book
Real Lord of the Rings fans know all about The Silmarillion. This is basically a massive book that tells the entire history of Middle-Earth, and it was written by Tolkien. If you've ever wanted to hear more about how orcs were once tortured elves, or how Sauron rose to power, The Silmarillion is where you will find all of that information. The book is wonderfully written, and provides an excellent source of information for fans to pore over and argue about on forums.
When fans first heard about the rumored Lord of the Rings TV show, many of them immediately started praying it would be based on The Silmarillion. If you think about it, it's the perfect book to make a TV show out of. It's full of all kinds of information, and you could probably get hundreds of episodes out of the book's many pages. It's definitely a promising concept, and one that will no doubt satisfy countless Lord of the Rings fans.
6 It Could Be A Sign That Amazon Is Changing Direction
Amazon really needs to switch gears, and soon. And this could be the perfect opportunity to do so. For too long Amazon has relied on artsy, niche TV shows that don't have a widespread appeal. If they continued down this path, the studio will probably fail, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos knows this all too well. That's why he's actually taking a lead role in changing the entire image and direction of the studio, and a new Lord of the Rings TV show could be the perfect way to show the world that Amazon Studios means business.
The entertainment industry is being pelted with abuse scandals right now, and Amazon Studios is far from safe. Roy Price, Amazon Studio exec, was forced to resign after allegations were made that he s*xually harassed one of the producers working on a show called The Man in the High Castle. This was probably the catalyst that forced Jeff Bezos to take more direct control over the studio to save it from disaster, and plenty of the studio's upcoming shows have now been cancelled to make way for new projects. Could it be that the Lord of the Rings TV show is this "new project?"
5 Jeff Bezos Is Personally Leading The Negotiations
For those of you who don't know Jeff Bezos, he's not only a hugely successful guy, but a massive Lord of the Rings fan. He's also a massive nerd in general, and loves other sci-fi and fantasy books, movies and shows with a passion. One of his big favorites is Star Trek, and he actually managed to get a small cameo in the movie Star Trek: Beyond as an alien! But Lord of the Rings holds a special place in his heart, as he spent his childhood reading those books and has always been obsessed with them.
That could explain why Amazon Studios is pushing so hard to make this show actually happen. He's rumored to be personally leading the negotiations, which is unheard of because he's the CEO of the company, and doesn't usually take such interest in such small matters. This is obviously very important to him, and Lord Of The Rings fans will be encouraged by the fact that Jeff Bezos is trying so hard to make this happen.
4 Netflix Is Also Battling For The Rights
Amazon isn't alone in fighting for the rights. Netflix is also rumored to be battling hard for the rights, and right now there is a fight between these two studios that rivals the battle of Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. But instead of fighting with trebuchets, trolls, and oliphants, these execs and CEOs are fighting with words and the numbers in their bank accounts. Netflix is apparently rivalling Amazon's offer with a deal worth up to $250 million. It's unclear who will come out victorious, but right now Amazon seems like the favorite.
For those of you with a Netflix account, this will be seen as very good news indeed. After all, a lot more people have Netflix subscriptions compared to Amazon subscriptions. How cool would it be to binge-watch the Lord of the Rings TV show during "Netflix and chill" sessions? In the end, it doesn't really matter who wins the rights, just as long as it actually happens.
3 Lord Of The Rings Fans Aren't Sure How To Feel
But should this show even happen in the first place? A growing number of fans aren't so sure. If you look at the reaction from the dedicated LOTR community, they're pretty split. The majority of them aren't really sure what to think about this, and are approaching it with a degree of caution. This is because there is a high chance that the show will absolutely butcher the franchise and make Lord of the Rings look stupid. Many fans are saying that the franchise shouldn't be touched, that we should all just leave it alone and stop trying to fix what isn't broken. After all, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy was an undisputed masterpiece. How in the hell do they expect to compete with that?
Many fans have also pointed out that this seems to be an unabashed attempt to make money out of something that has already been thoroughly milked. Just look at The Hobbit movies if you need a reminder of that. Does this franchise really need to be remade, just so Amazon Studios can make a few quick bucks? Will the series be good if the people are more interested in making money rather than actually doing the franchise justice? These are all very good questions.
2 There's A High Probability That The Series Will Be A Remake Of LOTR And Or The Hobbit
Probably the most important rumor about this new series has been pointed out by a few fans. This might be a rumor, but it's also just a logical deduction based on the way things stand right now regarding the rights. The most likely outcome for this series is that it will be a reboot or remake of The Hobbit and or the Lord of the Rings film trilogies. This is simply because those are the only rights that are on the table for negotiation. The court case was over the use of characters and intellectual property that appeared in the movies, and did not touch on anything else. Since the Tolkien estate settled based on this alone, the only things that can potentially be "touched" are those that pertain to Peter Jackson's movies.
What this means is that a TV show about The Silmarillion or an entirely new show is very unlikely – unless, of course, the Tolkien estate is willing to give up those rights. But this seems pretty unlikely, seeing as those books have never even been discussed before and the rights are unlikely to be offered in the future. So the most logical outcome is that this series will be based on the movies.
1 Amazon Is Trying To Buy The Rights
The most important news about this rumored TV show is that Amazon Studios is trying to buy the rights. This is actually happening and so it's the most concrete evidence that the show will actually go forward. Amazon Studios is a relatively new streaming platform, and it's been able to land some pretty interesting exclusive shows, like The Man in the High Castle, and a few other great projects. So far, Amazon has been focusing on niche genres that don't really have widespread appeal. This show could definitely change that direction, and it's a really big move for Amazon Studios.
The deal is rumored to be worth a great deal of money. There are so many Lord of the Rings fans out there, so they're almost guaranteed success if they can just make this show happen. Whether or not they will be successful in getting the rights is another thing altogether, but it's looking more and more certain every day, and it's attracting some serious media attention.
Sources: ign.com, vanityfair.com