About two weeks ago, there were rumours going around that Warner Bros would be making a TV series in the Lord of the Rings franchise, which left fans in a frenzy.
The e-commerce giant's CEO Jeff Bezos said this is in a way his quest for the platform to find its very own Game of Thrones. Set in Middle Earth, this TV series will explore new story lines preceding Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring". "We are honoured to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth".
Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien estate and trust and the publisher HarperCollins, said: "We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings". It's important to note that it won't follow the events of the Lords of the Rings, but rather it is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work and will feature original stories from that universe. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.
If you think of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy as being the definitive screen version of Tolkien's masterpiece, you may have to think again. "I better see Elijah Wood as Frodo I don't care how old he looks".
This is an unbelievably massive project for Amazon.
The Tolkien Estate had also approached Netflix and HBO, according to Hollywood entertainment website Deadline, which reported the deal came with an eye-watering upfront rights payment of around $200 million. That's $250 MILLION...just to secure the rights.
Yet Amazon appears to justify its spending on programming as a way to draw new sign-ups to Prime, whose members not only enjoy the video service, but also buy more goods more often from the world's largest online retailer.