TV

‘Lord of the Rings’ could get TV series, courtesy of Amazon and Warner Bros.

Actor Viggo Mortensen is shown in the role of Aragorn, in this undated production still from the “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Amazon is reportedly in early talks with Warner Bros. and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate to develop a “Lord of the Rings” TV series.
Actor Viggo Mortensen is shown in the role of Aragorn, in this undated production still from the “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Amazon is reportedly in early talks with Warner Bros. and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate to develop a “Lord of the Rings” TV series. AP/New Line Cinema Productions

One TV series to rule them all?

Amazon is in the early stages of negotiating with Warner Bros. Television and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate, and appears to be the frontrunner to produce a series based on the vastly popular “The Lord of the Rings” novel trilogy, Variety first reported Friday.

Nothing is official yet, and although no representatives from either side commented, Variety points out that Amazon taking on a “Lord of the Rings” series makes sense, given CEO Jeff Bezos’ orders to pursue projects with broader appeal.

The enormous success of HBO series “Game of Thrones” no doubt serves as some inspiration for the pursuit of high fantasy, as The Verge’s Bryan Bishop writes, also commenting that Netflix continues to outpace Amazon in the success of its original TV content.

Networks from Netflix to Amazon to Hulu are actively seeking the next big thing as “Game of Thrones,” an adaption of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel series, is set to end after its eighth season, likely to begin airing in 2019.

The rights to Tolkien’s works may still be a bit of a tender subject, as an $80 million dispute between Warner Bros. and Tolkien’s estate over “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” finally wrapped up by way of a settlement in July after five years of fighting in court, Deadline reported.

Director Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movie adaptations in the early 2000s grossed nearly $3 billion combined, with the final film, “The Return of the King,” winning Best Picture and 10 other Oscars. The recent “Hobbit” trilogy, also directed by Jackson, had more of a mixed critical reception, but grossed about the same amount.

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