Lord of the RingsLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 4/12/18 at 10:36PM EDT
Why Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel won't be the next Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin's epic saga has three important ingredients that have made the HBO series a hit: suspense, humor and sex. As Johnny Oleksinski points out, the Lord of the Rings prequel will likely be without two of those ingredients, the humor and sex. "Lord of the Rings, as its critical acclaim and Best Picture Oscar will attest, is brilliant," he says. "But remember that it was written by an Oxford-educated linguistics professor, not a late-night comic. While it has its provincial charms — like those of The Great British Bake Off— it’s just not very funny. The Hobbit director Peter Jackson tried to inject some gags into that 2012 film, and fell flat on his face in the process. There are no delectably witty characters like GoT's Tyrion, Olenna or The Hound. Samwell Tarley is a hell of a lot funnier than Samwise Gamgee. As for sex, that first Middle Earth story, The Hobbit, was actually told to Tolkien’s young children as a bedtime story."
Posted Monday 4/09/18 at 11:33PM EDT
HBO boss says "money is obviously very nice, but it doesn’t automatically mean quality" when asked about Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel
Asked about reports that Amazon is spending $1 billion on its Lord of the Rings series, HBO programming boss Casey Bloys says it's imperative not to focus on money. "We’ve got to stay focused on our goal, which is curating excellent content — not ignoring the outside world because you can’t but also trying not to get too distracted by Amazon has this money or Apple has that money. Money is obviously very nice but it doesn't automatically mean quality. It's very hard to curate content, and it matters how you engage with talent and how you treat them. And it's the game we've been playing for a long time."
Posted Thursday 4/05/18 at 6:37PM EDT
Amazon is trying to get Peter Jackson involved in The Lord of the Rings prequel, which has a five-season commitment
Amazon has two years to begin production on the expensive prequel -- which could cost more than $1 billion -- or else the rights will revert back to the J.R.R. Tolkien estate, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Peter Jackson's attorney, Peter Nelson, has recently helped start a dialogue between the filmmaker and Amazon. "It's very much a creature of the times," Nelson says of the Amazon deal. "We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios' emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles."
Posted Tuesday 3/20/18 at 3:15PM EDT
Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel series is looking even more like the most-expensive TV series of all time
When Amazon's deal was announced the price tag for the rights alone was said to be around $250 million. Add to that two seasons worth of production and marketing costs, and Amazon's outlay doubles to at least $500 million, inching closer and closer to The Hollywood Reporter's prediction in November that the series could ultimately hit $1 billion.
Posted Monday 12/18/17 at 11:28AM EST
Sir Ian McKellen would be up for reprising Gandalf on the Lord of the Rings TV show
"I haven't said yes because I haven't been asked," the actor tells Graham Norton, who raised the possibility of “another Gandalf.” "But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I'm not too old (yet).”
Posted Friday 12/01/17 at 5:37AM EST
HBO CEO: We didn’t want a Lord of the Rings TV series because we already have a Game of Thrones franchise
“I’d rather own our IP (intellectual property) 100%… and I’d rather have the ability to work with a product that is inextricably linked to our brand,” Richard Plepler said of all the Game of Thrones prequels in the works. Plepler also pointed out that HBO’s sister company, Time Warner, will profit from the Lord of the Rings TV series since it’s being co-produced by WB’s New Line Cinema division.
Posted Saturday 11/18/17 at 12:32AM EST
Enough with George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien!
TV networks should look to other fantasy novel series if they want to find the next Game of Thrones.
Posted Thursday 11/16/17 at 12:56AM EST
Why Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series won’t be its Game of Thrones: “No one is remotely excited about the adaptation”
“It reeks of cynicism,” says Stuart Heritage, adding that the prequel will be based on “events so dull that (J.R.R.) Tolkien didn’t bother committing them to paper. Even if Amazon manages to claw a meaningful story out of this deliberate lull, there’s no guarantee it will be good.” He adds: “Even to the most enthusiastic Tolkien fan, it’s just another needless dilution of a work that exists best in print form.” ALSO: Lord of the Rings star John Rhys-Davies calls Amazon’s prequel “just a disgrace. I mean, poor Tolkien must be spinning in his grave.”
Posted Wednesday 11/15/17 at 5:33PM EST
Amazon could end up shelling out $1 billion on The Lord of the Rings TV series
With everything factored, Lord of the Rings could end up being the most expensive TV series in history. As Lesley Goldberg explains, “Amazon's megadeal for The Lord of the Rings is believed to be for five seasons — plus a potential spinoff — with insiders putting the price tag for global rights at around $250 million. Once production budgets, casting, writers, producers and visual effects are factored in, the total for the Rings series — which will be set in Middle-earth and explore storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring — could hit $1 billion. Yes, $1 billion for a TV show.”
Posted Tuesday 11/14/17 at 6:04AM EST
Why Amazon is smart to spend an “insane” amount of money on a Lord of the Rings TV series
“One might think that six Tolkien films and seven Game of Thrones seasons is fantasy overkill,” Derek Thompson says of the hundreds of millions Amazon is shelling out to bring the J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy book series to the small screen. “But the single most important media-industry lesson of the 21st century might be this: Overkill is underrated. Consider Disney’s endless Marvel franchise, which is now on its 17th(!) film. The franchise has earned $13.3 billion for the company and shows few signs of slowing down, relative to the competition. Two of the franchise’s most recent installments, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok, are respectively the second and fourth biggest opening weekends of 2017.”
- Amazon hasn’t called Peter Jackson: This might be because of the “frosty” relationship between Jackson and the Tolkien estate. But should Jackson have any involvement on the TV series?
- What might a TV version of Lord of the Rings look like?
Posted Monday 11/13/17 at 2:17PM EST
Lord of the Rings TV series lands at Amazon with a multiple-season commitment
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show, which includes the potential of spinoff series, will be produced with J.R.R. Tolkien's Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros. Entertainment's New Line Cinema. “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, Amazon's new head of scripted programming, in a statement. Still, as James Hibberd points out, “there’s a catch, creatively speaking: The series will explore storylines set before the events in the first LOTR novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. In other words: The war to destroy the One Ring as chronicled in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films will not be told in the TV version. So this story is either set before The Hobbit or in between The Hobbit and LOTR.” Also, Amazon didn’t name a writer/showrunner for the series. As The Shield creator Shawn Ryan notes: “Protip: When you see a network announce a big commitment to a new show with no writer/showrunner to guide vision, prepare for bumpy waters.”
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 12:00AM EST
Sean Astin: I predicted that Lord of the Rings would become a TV series
The Stranger Things star and Lord of the Rings vet claims he's been saying for 15 years that a remake was going to happen. “No, it’ll get remade,” he said. “It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved.”
Posted Saturday 11/04/17 at 1:58AM EDT
A Lord of the Rings TV series would come with “insane” costs: $200-$250 million for the rights, $100-$150 million per season
HBO passed a while back, according to Deadline, because of the “insane” financial costs, leaving Amazon and Netflix in the running for the potential J.R.R. Tolkien series. According to Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, there is also concern that the Lord of the Rings TV rights “do not encompass all characters and are limited.” She adds that the $200-$250 million rights don’t include “costs for development, talent and production. It is a payment that has to be made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series.”
Posted Friday 11/03/17 at 10:34PM EDT
Lord of the Rings is poised to become a TV series
Amazon has emerged as a potential buyer, but a TV series based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novels is “far from official,” says The Hollywood Reporter, which adds: “Talks are said to be focusing on rights issues with the Tolkien estate; the project has yet to even go out to search for a potential writer.” Warner Bros. TV is in talks for the potential series four months after Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate settled an $80 million lawsuit after a five-year battle over profits from the Lord of the Rings film franchise.