Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' TV series to run for five seasons, focus on young Aragorn
Amazon bought the rights to the 'Lord of the Rings' TV show for $250 million and will shell out an estimated $1 billion to produce five seasons.
Amazon managed to compete with the likes of fellow network giants such as Netflix and HBO to acquire the rights to a highly-anticipated 'Lord of the Rings' TV series for an estimated quarter of a billion dollars, putting it in a prime position to cement itself in the now-burgeoning streaming market.
Furthermore, the TV series was expected to burn a significant hole through the studio's pockets. While the production cost for the supremely successful movie franchise crossed an estimated $300 million, Amazon will shell out $1 billion for the project.
The latest rumors suggest that the show will run for five seasons and it will not be focusing on either Frodo's journey to see the destruction of the 'One Ring' and the death of Sauron, nor the accompanying War for the Ring that enthralled audiences on the big screen; instead, it will reportedly chronicle the life of a young Aragorn, who in the movies played a significant role and was portrayed by Viggo Mortensen.
The news was initially reported by LOTR fan site TheOneRing.net, who tweeted: "We have confirmed from multiple sources that @AmazonStudios new billion-dollar #LOTR series will open its first season centered on a young Aragorn."
Instead of drawing its plot from the movies, Amazon's most ambitious project yet will instead draw inspiration from the treasure trove of records and notes author J.R.R Tolkien kept while penning the original trilogy in the 1930s and will cover 'previously unexplored stories' from the Middle Earth.
Sir Ian McKellen has confirmed his interest in returning in the role of Gandalf, while Andy Serkis (the voice of Gollum) and John Rhys Davis (Gimli) have ruled themselves out of the running.
Because of how the series revolves around a younger Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen will probably be not returning as well. However, it's who will be behind the camera that is proving to be a much bigger headache.
Amazon signed the $250 million deal for the rights to the series with Tolkien's estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema — the division of Warner Bros which made the original trilogy of movies — in November 2017, and there's said to be a clause which requires it to go into production within two years.
Because of how widely-revered the movies and books are around the world, a rushed and haphazard effort would be crucified by fans.
Instead of handing over the reins to someone new and providing a new spin to it, Amazon is therefore reportedly considering hiring Peter Jackson to helm the series. Jackson was responsible for writing, directing, and producing the original trilogy that won 21 Oscars as well as the Hobbit trilogy between 2012 and 2014 and has been sounded out for the TV show as well.
The rushed production may indeed compromise the show's quality and how its perceived by fans around the world, but if anyone can pull it off in such a short time frame, it's Jackson.