Oscar-winning Peter Jackson under consideration for Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' TV series
Amazon is reportedly considering Peter Jackson to take over the creative reigns of their mooted 'Lord of the Rings' TV series.
Amazon, Netflix, and HBO were all keen on acquiring the rights to produce a 'Lord of the Rings' TV series, but in the end, it was Amazon that prevailed. The streaming giant will have considered it a giant victory in its quest to cement itself as a premium platform but the cost was heavy.
A reported $1 billion will be shelled out - the biggest in television history - to produce five seasons, with a $250 million deal having already been signed with author J.R.R Tolkien's estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema (a division of Warner Bros., which made the original trilogy of movies) for the rights in November 2017.
However, there's a catch. Because of the massive sums of money involved, there is a clause which reportedly requires that the series go into production within two years, i.e. 2020. But for a series as popular and widely beloved as LOTR, a rushed effort would be torn apart and crucified by the legions of fans worldwide.
The time constraint has meant that Amazon is 'actively' connecting with 'established' writers, directors, and showrunners to hear pitches for the show, with LOTR fansite The One Ring reporting that Peter Jackson is under consideration for taking over the reins of the show.
Jackson, who was responsible for writing, directing, and producing the LOTR trilogy (2001-03) which won 21 Oscars between them, as well as the Hobbit trilogy (2012-14), is a popular choice because of his familiarity with Tolkien's vast universe and because he boasts a studio that has experience with the world.
Jackson is said to be in talks about becoming an executive producer on the show, with his attorney Peter Nelson having helped spark a dialogue between the popular director and Amazon. While information about the show is not yet available, it is expected to chronicle events before 'The Fellowship of the Ring.'
The news was greeted with apprehension by some of the fans as they were not exactly happy with Jackson's work in 'The Hobbit' trilogy but that was arguably a product of short production times - to put into context how compressed two years is, Game of Thrones was in development from 2007 but only aired in 2011.
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.