Lord of the Rings: Amazon’s billion-dollar gamble


Amazon Studios paid $250 million for the rights to the Lord of the Rings last November.

The $250 million deal with the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema must be in production within two years. Some speculate that it will cost more than $1 billion to make.

It’s no surprise that every network and streaming service is chasing the next Game of Thrones. I’m not sure Lord of the Rings is the right direction when a ridiculously popular movie series is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

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The original series is only 15 years old, and many fans revere these films as Peter Jackson’s masterpieces. The Hobbit series is only about five years old. Combined, both series have 20 Oscar nominations, and 17 Oscar wins.

So, will this be a reboot, a remake, or something entirely new?

For starters, according to NME, J. R. R. Tolkien’s estate will be heavily involved, much more than it was for the movies.

By way of casting, Ian McKellen, who played Gandolf in the movies, said he’d be interested in reprising his role. He quipped on the Graham Norton show, “Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old.”

However, Andy Serkis, who played the multi-personalities of Gollum, said that he doesn’t see himself being a part of it.

Someone who still may be involved is Peter Jackson himself. Though he wasn’t involved with the original negotiations, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Jackson’s lawyer opened communication between him and Amazon.

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As far as the plot, it sounds like the series will be a prequel to the films. So, it seems we can rule out a remake, thankfully.

Will this gamble pay off for Amazon? We’ll see when the series airs sometime in late 2019.