Amazon Studios head says Lord of Rings series could air by 2021

Amazon Studios had been hoping for their own series which could rival HBO's Game of Thrones, and snagging the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings franchise is certainly a huge step towards that direction. It's still early days in the production, and Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke spoke with THR about how the development is progressing and when we'll actually get to view The Lord of the Rings, especially as one of the clauses was that series must be in production within two years.

It'll be in production in two years; [on the air in] 2021 is the hope. But there are other people who wish it was 2020.

While speaking with Deadline, Jennifer Salke added that the deal only closed a month ago, but she's spent much of the time speaking with Simon Tolkien and Amazon Studio's Sharon Tal Yguado as they discuss which direction they want to take the series. "I think you’ll see us honing in on a strategy in the next month, which might involve a group of writers," Salke said. "Clearly, there’ll be someone in charge, but it involves the estate and Peter Jackson, and there’s a lot of conversations." Hold on, you might say, didn't Peter Jackson recently say that he wasn't involved with the series? Well, Salke went on to say that they've "right in the middle" of conversations with Jackson over how much, or how little, he'd like to be involved. Once those talks conclude, I'd imagine that we'll hear more on just what Jackson's contributions to the series will be.

Rumours have been flying over what sort of story The Lord of the Rings series will tell, including reportedly revolving around a young Aragorn, but Jennifer Salke wasn't about to comment on that, only to say that "we’re not remaking the movies, but we’re also not starting from scratch. So, it’ll be characters you love." Amazon's deal with the Tolkien estate covers most, but not all, of Tolkien's Middle-Earth material, with Salke saying, "It’s a partnership. They have some lines in the play on this on strategy and on vision. The great news about that is that they’re actually really thoughtful and smart, as you would expect." It's also possible that the series may even shoot in New Zealand, which audiences have come to see as the face of Middle-Earth.

I think we might be in New Zealand. I don’t know, but we’re going to have to go somewhere interesting that could provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible. There’s no shortage of ambition for the project. We’ll go where we need to go to make it happen.

I'm still not certain whether we need a Lord of the Rings series, but if Amazon really will give us something new, and not just a remake of the movies, I'll remain cautiously optimistic. What do you folks think?

Source: THRDeadline



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