Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy brought in around three billion dollars worldwide, and in this era of Hollywood sequels and reboots, the franchise is begging to be revived.
After a battle with Netflix, Amazon won the adaption rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy series. The streaming service reportedly paid $250 million for a deal that guarantees a five-season television adaption of The Lord of the Rings. Estimates indicate the series will cost Amazon around $1 billion, making it "the most expensive TV show ever," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' TV series is estimated to cost $1 billion for 5 seasons (and a possible spinoff), I'm… https://t.co/9sTeWlBNt5— Cam Williams (@Cam Williams) 1522970626.0
The details of Amazon's deal are fascinating... and a bit strange.
For instance, former heads of New Line Cinema were brought in ensure Amazon would have access to "material" from the Jackson movies. Does that mean the new TV show will feature clips of Elijah Wood as Frodo?
Amazon's Lord of the Rings series can use "material" from the movies, which could mean anything or nothing… https://t.co/DLyMv4fu7e— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) 1522972862.0
And Amazon isn't buying the rights just to keep them from Netflix.
The complicated contract stipulates that this new show must enter production within two years or the rights will revert back to Tolkien's heirs.
Amazon's Lord of the Rings (aka the "next Game of Thrones") must be in production within 2 years or the rights reve… https://t.co/4kKAyPCaNN— Tatiana Siegel (@Tatiana Siegel) 1522958003.0
Twitter users' reactions spanned the spectrum of excitement.
Hearing that Amazon's about to spend one BILLION dollars on its LORD OF THE RINGS TV series has left me grouchy. I… https://t.co/rqFSGynTqU— Scott Wampler™ (@Scott Wampler™) 1522949644.0
I'm so excited for the Amazon Lord of the Rings series. Like....ridiculously excited.— Sam (@Sam) 1522963745.0
Today I was reminded that Amazon is adapting Lord of the Rings for TV and I'm just like... I don't want this. :|— Sandro Desaulniers (@Sandro Desaulniers) 1522970028.0
Negotiations were extremely complex, but attorney Matt Galsor, who helped guide the deal, commented that it was a largely pleasant experience:
This is the most complicated deal I've ever seen, 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.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may be searching for the next 'Game of Thrones,' but Twitter has mixed feelings.
"Lord of the Rings on Amazon: Because the movies weren't quite long enough." https://t.co/FaXQl5Mrxn— Ross Miller (@Ross Miller) 1522952523.0
*very Augustus Gloop voice* Please let LORD OF THE RINGS die. I beg of you!— Simon Abrams (@Simon Abrams) 1522975198.0
Well, we can always hope...
If Amazon spends a billion dollars on lord of the rings it better be amazing— Joaquin (@Joaquin) 1522959016.0
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
The Tolkien book rights have a long and complicated history. Since the author originally sold rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1969, they have at points passed through the hands of MGM, producer Saul Zaentz and Miramax before New Line released Peter Jackson's six mega-hit adaptations, starting in 2001. Those films have earned $5.85 billion worldwide at the box office, underscoring the property's enduring popularity.