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Amazon announce new Tolkien television series

Amazon have today announced that they will be creating a new television series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Following rumours earlier this month, Amazon have today confirmed an agreement on a deal with the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. The series will be set before The Lord of the Rings, will span several series and include the potential for a spin-off series.

Shaun Gunner, Chair of the Tolkien Society, said:

This is incredibly exciting for many fans of both the books and the films. Although we don’t currently know the exact nature of the series, the strength of J.R.R. Tolkien as an author made it inevitable that another studio would one day want to bring Middle-earth to life once again. That day has now come. There will be undoubtedly be some apprehension within the Tolkien community about how faithful this will be to the books, however, there is also a lot of excitement about the possibility of exploring the epic saga that is The Silmarillion, or even a series focussed on Aragorn’s background. Christmas has come early for many of us today. – Shaun Gunner, Chair of The Tolkien Society

Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios said “The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. 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. [sic]

About the Society

The Tolkien Society is a charity founded in 1969 to promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. With thousands of members of worldwide, the Society’s president is J.R.R. Tolkien and the vice-president is his daughter Priscilla. To contact the Society for a statement, please see our Press page.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner

Shaun is the current Chair of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2013, Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien’s works whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time can be found in the cinema, playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.

  • Honestly excited by this announcement. I’ve often thought a more long form adaptation of the series could be a more nuanced, and potentially faithful to the originals.

    But what interests me is the mention of the Tolkien Estate and Trust, and not Middle Earth Enterprises (Saul Zaentz). Surely MEE owns the licensing rights to LOTR and The Hobbit on film and television (although they may have licensed it to New Line Cinema and they may just have sub-licensed to Amazon, I suppose). But the mention of the Estate makes me wonder, as they needn’t get involved, unless new adaptation licenses are being handed out?

  • Francisco Jesus

    Me (and I think most fans) would be ok with an adaptation of his many other works: Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Hobbit, Children of Hurin, etc. But for the love of God leave Lord of the Rings alone. We have the best trilogy to have ever gracedthe screen and another GOT-style show would kill the whole atmosphere surrounding Tolkien and the previous trilogy masterpiece.

  • gavin johnston

    Good god, enough! It’s tawdry, sullied, a side-show representation of something awesome in its imagination for illiterate hucksters too lazy to dream. Oh I know, let’s turn everything in a masturbatory digital homage to the video-game imagery de jour. Whores and charlatans, I say. WHORES AND CHARLATANS! Let Tolkien’s world be what it is — its existence in the written word is what gives it its power.

  • deathangelsshadow

    I feel a lord of the rings series could put right some of the less good bits of the films, which while excellent, had a few deeply irritating anomalies, harrowing of the shire, ignored. Ridiculously oversized mumakil, the ghost army at the pelenor, the elves at helms deep and the ents being portrayed as stupid.
    It would allow the maker’s to look at the wars in the north, the elves assault on dol guldur, the battles with the dwarves of eribor and the iron hills.
    Oh and most of all someone other than that hack John Rys Davies playing gimili!

  • Corky M Dunsmore

    I think a great story would be Elrond’s, he seen it all since the great cataclysm. It would give the background of Ring Lore, the amity between the elves and dwarves as well as the the glories of Moria and the establishment of Imladris.

  • Ruca77

    /cross fingers they do it right!
    So much epic potential there!

  • Come to Northern Ireland to film it, Amazon! We’ve been making Game of Thrones for seven years and we have only one more season to go.

  • Richard Freeman

    Let’s hope they get the dragons right. Four legs and two wings. Don’t fob us off with wyverns!

  • Charles Hadden

    Please never let anyone film The Silmarillion!

  • david c

    let them do the 2nd age – if they pass the test, then Silm