Warner Brothers Television is in talks to develop a live-action series based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novels The Lord of The Rings. The film franchise of the same name was released by Warner Bros. from 2001 (The Fellowship of the Ring) to 2003 (The Return of the King), and became a massive success for the studio. Combined, the three films garnered a whopping 17 Oscars and hundreds of other wins and nominations.
Given the success of the original trilogy, it's not surprising that Warner Bros. continued the franchise in 2012 with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This launched the next trilogy of Tolkien adaptations, and although these films were definitely not as critically acclaimed as the Lord of the Rings were, they still performed well at the box office. The next step by WB is to launch a new project to continue to capitalize on the franchise: a TV series.
Warner Bros. is in talks with Amazon Studios about a potential Lord of the Rings TV series, according to sources for THR. The project is still in its earliest stages, with no writer attached and plenty of issues with the Tolkien estate to be worked out before work could really begin.
Although it is stressed that the project is still in the embryonic stage, and there is no guarantee that this will ever make it to screen, it's clear that Warner Bros. is interested in creating more Lord of the Rings properties. Issues with the estate may well get in the way though, given that the Tolkien estate has previously sued over the way that royalties from the films were handled. However, the various lawsuits and countersuits were settled earlier this year, which should mean that the property is once again available for adaptation.
Of course, even if this project should come to fruition, it will take some time to go from early talks to a season 1 premiere, and there are plenty of potential issues along the way. It's difficult to re-adapt a film series that was so spectacular, and the critical failure of The Hobbit proves that this world is not an easy one to re-create. Fans of the originals may love a new version of the story, but there is also a solid possibility that a series would simply find it impossible to live up to the films.
There is no release date yet for The Lord Of The Rings.