It seems there is more to this Amazon ‘Lord of The Rings’ deal than we originally thought, though the path Amazon is treading seems somewhat perilous. New information has revealed that the studio has no plan to simply retread the same material already seen in Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord Of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies (as I had originally thought), though they did pay Warner Bros money to ensure they could use material from those films if needed to help flesh out their own story. This means the whole thing could ostensibly be taking place in the same universe, i..e. maintain the same continuity as Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth.
Does this mean cameos from Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, and other immortals who were in Peter Jackson’s film? (Sadly no Saruman as the great Christopher Lee has passed, though I’m sure he would have been intrigued at the possibility). Also, it seems that Peter Jackson himself has had talks with Amazon about possible involvement, though the prevailing thought is that he would be onboard more as a producer than anything else having spent more than enough time in Middle Earth already.
The real danger for Amazon, in my opinion, are the terms of making this series, which apparently has to be at least 5 seasons, which could be a tall tale considering the studio still does not know what part of Tolkien’s work in Middle Earth they are going to be bringing to life. Also tying their hands are the fact that they need to start shooting the show within 2 years. With all of the creative challenges ahead, some are estimating the entire production could cost Amazon more than 1 billion dollars (on top of the $250 million they already spent to buy the rights!). That is a lot of money to sink into one show, even one based on a franchise as lucrative as ‘Lord of the Rings.’
As a big Tolkien fan, I hope for the best here, but as a realist, I cannot help but wonder if Amazon has bitten off more than they can chew. Here’s hoping they went into all of this with some kind of plan, otherwise, I’d be a little nervous about what kind of results we are going to get.
Source: Empire Online