There have been rumors that Amazon is working on a Lord of the Rings TV series in its quest to find the next Game of Thrones, and now there's confirmation. There is also potential for additional spin-off series.
The new series will take place in the world of Middle-earth but will explore storylines that took place before the events of Tolkien's first Lord of the Rings novel, The Fellowship of the Ring.
"'The Lord of the Rings" is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen", said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series for Amazon Studios.
The studio has already committed to a multi-season run of the new series, produced by Amazon Studios, the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Like how Fox's Gotham can tell the story of young Bruce Wayne but not Batman, how FX's Legion and Fox's The Gifted have to avoid using the term "X-Men" even though they're X-Men projects, or how Syfy's upcoming series based on The Purge films will be set in between actual Purges.
The move by Amazon comes as HBO prepares to conclude its mammoth fantasy hit Game of Thrones, which will nearly certainly premiere its final six episodes in 2019. That leaves two options: Amazon could plumb the depths of the appendices of The Return of the King, potentially detailing the early romance of Aragorn and Arwen, the creation of the Rings of Power and the history of the line of kings from which Aragorn is descended.