As rumored last week, Amazon officially announced Monday that they have acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Ring and will "explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring".
While The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King all have Rotten Tomato ratings in the low to mid-90s; the following The Hobbit trilogy wasn't as well received. Collectively the three "Lord of the Rings" films directed by Peter Jackson grossed more than $2.9 billion internationally.
'The team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings'.
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Fans are speculating that could mean an adaptation of "The Silmarillion", a posthumously published prequel by Tolkien.
"The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen", said a representative for Amazon Studios in a statement.
The final part of that collection is called "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", which deal with the build up to the events of The Lord of the Rings novels.
There's no cast or premiere date yet, but the series will eventually stream on Amazon Prime. If Amazon is looking for an opportunity to add the sex, violence, and soap opera drama to Tolkien's world that have made shows like Game of Thrones so successful, this kind of approach would certainly offer the opportunity.
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The pressure to invest heavily to match the scale of Jackson's trilogy will be also be huge.
After six movies that grossed nearly $6 billion in theaters, Amazon.com Inc. thinks there's still money to be mined in Middle Earth.
What are your hopes for the LOTR series on Amazon?
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