Friday, April 06, 2018

Deal Signed for The Lord of the Rings TV Series

Been a while since posted anything as movie stuff is done but it seems Hollywood is not done with The Lord of the Rings. Amazon and the Tolkien Estate lawyers have signed on the dotted line to create a TV series based on the books and it seems the movies will be a source of inspiration for the film depending on how "materials from the films" is defined.

Here is the summary of the main details:
- The cost for the rights was $250 million
- Amazon has to begin production within the next two years or lose rights to make the TV series
- The deal is at least 5 seasons
- The series is estimated to cost around $1 billion to produce assuming the series is only five seasons
- The deal does include access to the films with New Line and Warner Bros Pictures participating in the deal.
- The deal did not include Peter Jackson who directed all the Middle-Earth films but Amazon and Jackson have talked (about what exactly was not detailed)
- The now blacklisted Bob and Harvey Weinsten where not part of the negotiations but its expected they will eventually sue for their cut of the TV show since they own a cut of the movies.

"This is the most complicated deal I've ever seen," [Tolkien Estate attorney Matt ] Galsor says, "but it was handled relatively quickly, in a way that brought the parties together in a close relationship. It was tough, but everybody liked each other and felt like a team more as the deal closed."

The short of it is a TV series is coming. Amazon spent way to much money to fail to start production by the two year deadline. Since "materials" of the film are included its safe to assume the look and feel of the show will directly draft off the films. It also seems to me the series will tie into the films but not retell the films.

For example the story could involve a Rohanian character who participated in the attack on Helm's Deep (shown via flashbacks) and explores his adventures before, during and after the events of the movies. Lots of opportunities like that for the series. It also could take a page from The Hobbit and try to tell a complete live action history of Middle-Earth from say the perspective of Gandalf set way before the films (so recast via younger actor). There were many books to the saga of Middle-Earth, if able to get through often impenetrable language and a dry academic writing style that told the complete history of Middle-Earth that going back thousands of years before the rise of Sauron and after is final fall. The options available are so huge I feel kind of bad for the team that has to finally settle on just one thing. My suspicion is whatever they land on will involve a hobbit, a wizard, and some warriors that suspiciously mirror the Fellowship but isn't the same as they go on a quest to save Middle-Earth from something that isn't Sauron but related. I assume this because at the end of the day the rights were bought due to the popularity of the films and so whatever they come up with will want to align to that comfort level as much as possible.

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