Amazon Studios recently revealed plans to make a Lord of the Rings prequel TV series - not a straight-up remake. So, will the TV show take place within the same continuity as Peter Jackson's film trilogy, or will the show start from scratch?
At the moment, it's unclear when the series will take place in relation to the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, but if the series was to exist somewhat close to the movie's start, several actors and actresses, such as Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and even Martin Freeman, could reprise their roles from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies. In fact, if Amazon were to go further back and focus on Sauron and the rebuilding of his orc army, they could bring back Blanchett and Weaving as Lady Galadriel and Lord Elrond, respectively; both characters' histories are tied to the One Ring.
That said, the streaming giant might not want to corner itself by attempting to adhere to Jackson's pre-established continuity, which itself differs in many ways from Tolkien's Middle-earth lore. Further, The Hobbit trilogy - particularly The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies - certainly weren't as well received as The Lord of the Rings films were. It's possible that people may be burned out by Jackson's adaptations and are craving a new adaptation that introduces its own iconography. That's something Amazon want to steer into, especially as this is positioned as being their answer to Game of Thrones.
If Amazon chooses to remain separate from Jackson's films, they're likely to follow the example of the way of Warner Bros. Interactive's Middle-earth video game series, which takes place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, yet breaks parts of Tolkien's Middle-Earth lore in order to tell its own story. The Middle-earth games follow the ranger Talion and the Elven spirit Celebrimbor as they attempt to build an army strong enough to defeat Sauron. Amazon's TV series could follow a similar storyline that, but even if not the example of this vague canon is a strong one.
Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel TV series is still in the very early stages of development, so there are still many questions that remain unanswered. However, as that the streaming giant has already given the series a multi-season commitment, it stands to reason that they have an idea of where they want to go. We'll just have to wait and see how closely the show marries itself to the iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy or not.