AceShowbiz - It's official! Middle Earth is coming to the small screen. Amazon Studios announced on Monday, November 13 that it acquired global TV rights to "The Lord of the Rings", which is based on popular novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, in a massive deal which was reportedly to be nearly $250 million.
In addition, the streaming outlet and retail giant handed out a multi-season commitment, which also includes a potential spin-off series. The "LOTR" TV series is set to be produced in-house at Amazon Studios alongside the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros. Entertainment's New Line Cinema. There is no writer attached just yet.
" '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, Amazon's new head of scripted. "We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking the Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth."
"We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for the 'Lord of the Rings'," said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. "Sharon and 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."
The deal came reportedly after Tolkien estate shopped the project to some networks, including HBO, Amazon and Netflix. Amazon then closed the deal after paying close to $250 million just for the rights, excluding any costs for development, talent and production, Deadline reported.
"LOTR" was previously adapted into three feature films which were all directed by Peter Jackson. Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and others, the first movie, titled "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", was released in 2001. The sequels, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", followed it up in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
Set in Middle Earth, the upcoming TV series will explore new storylines preceding Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring". The site stated that the rights holders, however, imposed some creative restrictions on what can be done and what can't be done on the planned TV project.