The Lord of the Rings TV series is officially moving forward at Amazon as a prequel that will span a number of seasons. Less than two weeks ago, word broke of a Lord of the Rings series in development from Warner Bros. Though it appeared to have been shopped around to numerous networks, Amazon was the frontrunner for nabbing the show. As part of the studio's commitment to new scripted content, Amazon have been picking up all sorts of adaptations of late.
Snow Crash and Ringworld TV shows are in the works, and last week brought word of Amazon ordering The Boys to series. These moves prove that the streaming service has an interest in turning popular comic, sci-fi, and fantasy stories into (potentially) the next big thing on television. Naturally, a Lord of the Rings series would position Amazon to turn out their version of Game of Thrones thanks to the expansive universe of Tolkein's work - and for fans worried the series would simply be a retread of the Peter Jackson films and/or Tolkien's original books, that doesn't appear to be the case.
Variety is reporting that Amazon Studios has officially ordered the Lord of the Rings TV show to series with a multi-season commitment. What's more, the outlet indicates the show will be set before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment in Tolkien's Rings trilogy.
The news that the show will take place before Fellowship, and thus the first volume of the Rings trilogy, opens up the likelihood of new stories being told. Of course, the series could also take on the form of a straight-forward prequel that features younger versions of the various heroes from the Rings series. For now, however, the show's plot and character details are being kept under-wraps.
Amazon's multi-season commitment is certainly bold, but probably a necessary step to acquiring the hotly sought-after property. Given the breadth of Tolkien's work, there's no shortage of stories that a Lord of the Rings TV show could explore. Variety's report also states that there will be an option for a spinoff, meaning a story separate from the main saga could arrive if the main series is a hit. Knowing that, there's a good chance the flagship series will touch on familiar plots and characters while also setting up a separate story for the spinoff.
While Jackson's Lord of the Rings films had their detractors, The Hobbit movies were far less well-received by comparison. Given that, Amazon will need to tread carefully when it comes to fleshing out Tolkien's world. Amazon doesn't quite have the track record of Netflix, but they're certainly an encouraging fit when it comes to translating Lord of the Rings to television.