Ama­zon to launch ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV show

Global Times - - Life -

Ama­zon said on Mon­day it had ac­quired the global tele­vi­sion rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the cel­e­brated fan­tasy nov­els by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-sea­son com­mit­ment.

Set in Mid­dle Earth, the adap­ta­tion will ex­plore new sto­ry­lines pre­ced­ing Tolkien’s The Fel­low­ship of the Ring, the In­ter­net stream­ing ser­vice said, adding that the deal in­cluded a po­ten­tial ad­di­tional spin-off se­ries.

“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 Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted se­ries at Ama­zon Stu­dios.

The Tolkien Es­tate had also ap­proached Net­flix and HBO, ac­cord­ing to Hol­ly­wood en­ter­tain­ment web­site Dead­line, which re­ported the deal came with an eye-wa­ter­ing up­front rights pay­ment of around $200 mil­lion.

The pro­duc­tion bud­get will likely add an­other $100-$150 mil­lion a sea­son – but Ama­zon is seen as hav­ing deep pock­ets, as chair­man Jeff Be­zos has chal­lenged his cre­ative teams to come up with a pres­ti­gious fan­tasy se­ries to ri­val Game Of Thrones.

The Lord of the Rings was named Ama­zon cus­tomers’ fa­vorite book of the mil­len­nium in 1999 and Bri­tain’s best-loved novel of all time in the BBC’s The Big Read sur­vey in 2003.

Ama­zon said the se­ries would be avail­able via the Prime Video app or on­line in more than 200 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries, but it did not an­nounce a re­lease date.

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