After a seven-year hiatus, which is a lifetime in Hollywood terms when there’s so much untapped lore and earning potential in the property, The Lord of the Rings is coming back to our screens in a major way over the coming years.
Amazon are shelling out an eye-watering $465 million for the first run of the streamer’s TV series, having stumped up a billion total for a five-season commitment, while Warner Bros. are getting back into the theatrical action with The War of the Rohirrim, which is being fast-tracked through development with a full creative team attached and voice casting underway.
Of course, the last time audiences visited Middle-earth the results were more than a little disappointing, but if either of the upcoming projects can even hit the middle ground between Peter Jackson’s all-time great original trilogy and The Hobbit, then we’re in for something pretty special.
Having been sworn to secrecy for so long, The War of the Rohirrim producer Jason DeMarco took to social media and revealed his unbridled excitement and joy at tackling J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology, as you can read below.
“Thanks for all the kind words folks. There’s a lot of work in front of us but we already have an amazing team and director Kenji Kamiyama, as you folks know, is the man. We are lining up killer talent. I’m scared and exhilarated like I’ve never been, and I’m working on something I truly love. If my mom could see me now she’d be happy she let her bookish son spend so many hours indoors drawing dragons, spaceships and watching sci-fi and horror. Very cringe post I know, but I just lost a close friend and I needed this positivity today!”
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It’s a smart move from Warner Bros. to continue expanding The Lord of the Rings in animation, distancing itself from the live-action likes of Jackson’s six-film series and Amazon’s show in the process, and it’ll no doubt lessen the studio’s investment as well, when The Hobbit cost a cumulative total of at least $700 million to produce.
A prequel also opens the door to any number of continuations, with Tolkien’s work so dense and all-encompassing that if The War of the Rohirrim hits big, The Lord of the Rings could find itself the subject of countless animated adaptations for the foreseeable future.