Warner Brothers and Amazon developing a Lord of the Rings TV show


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The new show is looking more and more like it will be telling the story of the forging of the Rings of Power and the original war between Sauron and the Elves.

That's pretty good actually. Lots of new characters (Celebrimbor, Sauron-as-Annatar) and some familiar ones (Galadriel, Elrond, Celeborn), it brings in the Numenoreans and the elves of Eregion, touches on Moria etc. A good mix of material familiar from the movies and new in origin.

Most intriguingly, it looks like Amazon may have secured some sort of deal to use material from Unfinished Tales, particularly the stuff touching on this time period. Excellent!


Well I'm sold. Anything that gets Unfinished Tales and some Simallarion is pretty good news to me!


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Maybe. I think I may actually be less excited about this idea than about the pre-LotR Aragorn wanderings idea.

It's too big. Too epic. Too much that has to be brought in and explained and set up. And not story-like enough. There's almost a hundred years between Annatar/Celebrimbor and the actual war.

And the war itself is pretty inconclusive - The elves get driven back to a few strongholds. At the last moment a host from Numenor shows up and drives Sauron's armies back from Eriador and the coastlines, but can't actually finish the job.

There are certainly some cool scenes you could come up with, but they're kind of scattered around times and characters. I don't really see what kind of coherent story you could make out of it.

The Exchange

I think it depends how they do it. LotR and The Hobbit are novels. The other stuff is mostly imaginary history, covering a borad span of time quickly, and to some extent as dry as that in the execution. The novels are almost footnotes in that broader undertaking. So they have the scope to build things out in much more detail. My main caveat to that would be that it probably wouldn't be much to do with Tolkien except in general outline. <shrug> I never really liked the Silmarilion much so I can't get very excited. I dunno, one hopes in all that massive budget they spent some money on decent scripts.


Well, if WB is involved... I wonder if they'll do any ties to the Shadow of Mordor game series.


Still think doing Lost Tales is way cooler than doing just like the entire Simallarion.


Quote:
Well, if WB is involved... I wonder if they'll do any ties to the Shadow of Mordor game series.

The video games are adequate in gameplay, but horrible in story and lore. I can imagine the Tolkien Estate vetoing against even the vaguest idea that those games are official or canon in any way, shape or form.

Quote:
Still think doing Lost Tales is way cooler than doing just like the entire Simallarion.

You mean Unfinished Tales? The Book of Lost Tales is The Silmarillion (or at least an early draft of it).


Wert,

Yeah that's what I meant....


Updates on the Amazon LotR series.

Amazon have released a series of maps which seem to confirm that the TV series will now be set firmly in the Second Age of Middle-earth. So, no hobbits but the Numenoreans will show up, along with the elves and Sauron. Based on the maps, it appears that the story might be multi-generational, spanning the period from the forging of the Rings of Power to the War of the Last Alliance that ended the Second Age, a period of 1700 years. The last map makes a big deal of Numenor being there in particular.

This is great. The original idea - "The Amazing Adventures of Young Aragorn" - was a bit rubbish, so seeing them go deep-diving into the lore is excellent.

Even more intriguing is that the map of Numenor and many of the place names on the Second Age map are copyrighted as part of Unfinished Tales. Amazon must have persuaded the Tolkien Estate to let them licence the rights to Unfinished Tales. That suggests that if the project is successful, they might even get the Silmarillion rights later on.

The show is expected to start production in November for a mid-2021 release.


As I said above, "The Amazing Adventures of Young Aragorn" might be a bit simpler and less exciting, but it's also a lot more coherent.

It's a lot harder to make a good narrative out of scenes scattered across multiple continents, centuries and characters. All of which will need to be established for our brief visits to them.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

They could pull it off in a few different ways. Either they could make each season be a different time period, then time jump in the next season to the next significant period in a story like that.

Or they could have two time periods where the story takes place in, and have one be a series of flashbacks from the other.


Or use Elves (as the focus/ viewpoint characters)...

?

<shrug>

The Exchange

Meh... Whatever. It's going to be Tolkien's outline (maybe) but not really his work. And it's a bit disingenuous to call it Lord of the Rings since that is a specific novel and this, well, isn't that. I dunno. I don't want to be the miserablist Tolkien bore and if this excites people then great, but I've a feeling this will be low on my watching priorities. Then again, I didn't like the LotR movies all that much as they went a bit Hollywood for me, and got bored with Game of Thrones because it different from the books (I just hope George doesn't die before he finishes the book series). So perhaps these adaptations aren't really for me, and that just my problem rather than anyone else's.

Scarab Sages

If the series does cover the creation of the Rings of Power and the downfall of Numenor, I wonder who they'll get to play Sauron. If I recall correctly, during those times he could still appear "fair of form" which is how he fooled the elves when the rings were forged, and later corrupted the people of Numenor.

If the series is successful, I'd also love to see the war against the Witch-King of Angmar.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

For the amount Amazon reportedly paid, there's going to be at least 5 seasons, successful or not. $250 million for the rights, and $250 million more committed to 5 seasons, @ $50 million each.

EDIT: And that doesn't include however many million is spend on advertising!


JoelF847 wrote:

For the amount Amazon reportedly paid, there's going to be at least 5 seasons, successful or not. $250 million for the rights, and $250 million more committed to 5 seasons, @ $50 million each.

EDIT: And that doesn't include however many million is spend on advertising!

That's not correct. Amazon have indeed paid $250 million combined to the Tolkien Estate and New Line/Warner Brothers for the rights, but their agreed budget-per-season has a window of $100-150 million per season. At the top end that's $1 billion for the rights and all five seasons, which would comfortably make this the most expensive ongoing TV show ever made.


All I know is this: There had better be some mention of the saga of Beran. Just because I like that guy.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
All I know is this: There had better be some mention of the saga of Beran. Just because I like that guy.

Even better, if The Silmarillion rights are now in play, we might get a direction adaptation of that story a few years down the road.


That would be cool, especially if they do Hurin's story too.


GoT writer-producer Bryan Cogman has taken over the series as showrunner.


Big update.

J.A. Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE, THE IMPOSSIBLE, A MONSTER CALLS, er, JURASSIC PARK: FALLEN KINGDOM) will direct the first two episodes.

Gennifer Hutchison (BREAKING BAD, BETTER CALL SAUL) has been added to the writing room.

After a huge battle between Scotland and New Zealand, New Zealand has emerged victorious and the new show - with the working title LORD OF THE RINGS: THE SECOND AGE - will shoot in that country once again. However, production will be based in Auckland rather than Wellington as in Jackson's movies.

Also some clarification: Bryan Cogman has joined the show as an advisor and producer, as he was added to the project when writing for the show was already at an advanced stage. He may have an expanded role for Season 2.


Well it's nice to know Middle Earth gets to stay in Middle Earth aka New Zealand.


Full creative team revealed.

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