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Amazon Is Making a 'Lord of the Rings' Prequel Series (techcrunch.com) 109

Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings prequel TV series for its Amazon Instant streaming service. The show, which already carries a multi-season commitment, will "explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring." TechCrunch reports: It's possible the new series will mine the ponderous but rich Silmarillion for material, as fan fiction writers and lore aficionados have done for decades. The exploits of the Elf-Lords of old would make for a stirring epic, while many would thrill at the possibility of seeing Moria at the height of its grandeur. So much depends on the quality of the adaptation, though. Amazon has been pretty good about its Originals, but this will be an undertaking far beyond the scope of anything its studios and partners have yet attempted. Amazon is partnering with New Line Cinema, which of course was the film company behind the much-loved trilogy that began in 2001, and the Tolkien Estate, as well as HarperCollins for some reason. The deal also "includes a potential additional spin-off series," presumably if it's popular enough.

Amazon Is Making a 'Lord of the Rings' Prequel Series

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  • Peter Jackson (Score:1, Insightful)

    by neoRUR ( 674398 )

    And I hope Peter will be involved somehow..

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xevioso ( 598654 )

      I'm sure Perter Jackson's ears perked up at this announcement. He loves to put a lot of bloat into his movies, which translates well to TV. A lot of the stuff in NZ is probably still intact and would make for great sets I'm sure. The problem is that if they were to work with him he would probably demand a lot of benefits for NZ; the Hobbit movies were *expensive* but they made a ton, so...

      Guilermo Del Toro was supposed to do the Hobbit before PJ took over, so they might be able to get him involved...

      • NZ wanted to maintain the beauty of the landscape, so a lot of the land the sets were made on had to be transformed back to their original state.

    • And I hope Peter will be involved somehow..

      Oh, I can think of another New Zealander who I would love to see in the film!

      Kim Dotcom!

      Yes, he is tanned and rested, and through and through ready for the job.

      Although, he is a bit creepy, but that what Tolkien was all about anyway.

      Just stuff his fat, hairy ass into a Elf costume, and he will be a hit.

    • by nnet ( 20306 )
      I thought tobacco companies couldn't do that anymore.../s
    • Re:Peter Jackson (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @06:45PM (#55543997) Homepage

      After the travesty of the Hobbit. I would not wish for this.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    do not want!

  • Hobbit (Score:2, Funny)

    by taylorius ( 221419 )

    If I recall,they filmed the Hobbit at an unusually high framerate. At last, their genius becomes apparent. Simply play back the Hobbit films at a far lower framerate, and hey presto - a 250 hour Netflix series, ready for release!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      > If I recall, they filmed the Hobbit at an unusually high framerate.

      Yes, they did at 48 FPS. They made two mistakes:

      * 48 fps STILL looks like shit since it is sub 60 FPS. There is a reason VR try to aim for 96 FPS as a minimum. The sweet spot is between 96 Hz and 120 Hz for _smooth_ motion.
      * A high frame can't save crappy directing. They had TWO directors due to the extreme workload -- Peter almost suffered complete burn-out [youtube.com] due to Warner Bros fucking them over.

    • Twice as many frames of crap than the usual. The Hobbit was the last movie I saw in theater and made me swear it off for good.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @05:26PM (#55543409)

    Personally, I loved reading it - but I'm not sure there's a huge television market of people wanting to watch stories where everyone eventually gets killed by the bad guys.

    In comparison to The Silmarillion, the Game of Thrones is a feel-good epic.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @05:26PM (#55543413)

    There are just to many too many streaming platforms out there. Much less a lot of HBO like ones that have shows on them I don't want to have to buy / deal with 4-5 different stores / ui's / apps / offline rules.

    HBO
    amazon prime
    youtube red
    CBS All Access
    netflix
    etc

    • Everyone bitches that the cable monthly bill costs too much.

      Welcome to TV a la carte.

      And yes, it sucks.

      • Welcome to TV a la carte.

        This is one a la carte model, but we could easily have it per-show. The technology exists to make it happen, and it probably will happen eventually. There are lots of reasons why the current distributors don't want it to happen, but if you look at TPB you will rapidly see that lots of people want to get their content per-episode and finding a way to get them to pay for it is potentially lucrative.

    • Step 1: Make two friends.

      Step 2: Each subscribe to one or two streaming platforms.

      Step 3: Share your passwords.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      There are just to many too many streaming platforms out there. Much less a lot of HBO like ones that have shows on them I don't want to have to buy / deal with 4-5 different stores / ui's / apps / offline rules.

      HBO
      amazon prime
      youtube red
      CBS All Access
      netflix
      etc

      Predicted this a while back, a service will come along and combine all of these services into one package that you can access through a single device connected to a cable. All that has happened before will happen again... except we'll herald it as NEW and EXCITING because its ON THE INTERWEBS !1!!11!ONE!!1!ELEVEN!!!

      • That service already exists. Ever heard of TPB?

        When Netflix came their influence faded a bit because people were able to get their content easily, legally, and *now* instead of waiting for a torrent to download. But the greed of media companies may well reverse the trend.

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      There are just to many too many streaming platforms out there.

      It's almost like we need one platform to rule them all...

    • It isn't like CBS or HBO would have enough stuff that you'd want to subscribe year round.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    HarperCollins has the print publishing rights to Tolkein's work, so if there are any books to come out of this....

  • Get Blind Guardian to make the soundtrack!!
  • Someone call PETA itâ(TM)s animal abuse to milk this poor cow so many times.

  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @05:36PM (#55543499) Homepage

    Never mind...

  • Anything less than production values equal to the movies won't do well.

    Aside from that, it'll depend on the writing. A TV adaptation of the tale of Lúthien and Beren could be very cool. Tolkien wrote the bare outline in the Silmarillion, but no dialog and not a whole lot of detail. It's a love story, so Hollywood can just use it, rather than shoehorning in a bullshit love story of their own (thanks for nothing, Hobbit). It also fits well in the current zeitgeist, since Lúthien does a lot of th

    • We can expect Netflix to do a better job than MTV.

      Crap. Of course I meant Amazon, not Netflix. Still better than MTV, if not quite as good as Netflix.

    • >travesty of an adaptation of the Elfstones of Shannara

      You mean, "Pretty Young People With Pointy Ears (and not a hell of a lot else going for it)"?

      Yeah, sad they botched it. But that's the market these days - forget the premise, are the actors young, pretty, and the characters in constant relationship drama regardless of logic?

  • Isnt it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @06:13PM (#55543781)
    And i always thought the name of the prequel to the Lord of the Rings was: The Hobbit.
  • This really puzzles me. Christopher Tolkien has said many times, some in court, that no further words of his father's will ever be filmed. That LotR and The Hobbit were exceptions because JRRT sold the rights while he was still alive, but no more under any circumstances. This is why Jackson had The Hobbit and some material from the appendices at the end of Return of the King (if you haven't read them, you should -- there are stories in there) instead of filming "The Quest of Erebor", the larger, more ser

    • This really puzzles me. Christopher Tolkien has said many times, some in court, that no further words of his father's will ever be filmed.

      Who said it's his words? As with things like Riverdale, they could just buy the rights to the characters (if they haven't already) and do whatever they like with them

      • This really puzzles me. Christopher Tolkien has said many times, some in court, that no further words of his father's will ever be filmed.

        Who said it's his words? As with things like Riverdale, they could just buy the rights to the characters (if they haven't already) and do whatever they like with them

        Fair enough. (And incidentally, I'd have no interest in watching that.) But then, in what capacity is the Tolkien estate (which means Christopher, let's face it) involved?

    • "So why, after all these years of feeding off his father's works, and hamstringing further attempts at filming his father's works, does Christopher suddenly give the ok to film other stories, to his old nemesis New Line, of all people?"

      Chris has no talent to write on his own, so it's the standard reason... $$$$$$$

    • So why, after all these years of feeding off his father's works, and hamstringing further attempts at filming his father's works, does Christopher suddenly give the ok to film other stories, to his old nemesis New Line, of all people?

      Christopher Tolkien is resigning from his position with his father's estate. A new regime is taking control. [slashfilm.com]

  • The Hobbit should have never been 3 2 hour movies. Especially as LoTR was 3 2 hour moves.

    That said, if Netflix can bring interesting stories to the canon, who the hell cares? Good stories are good, bad stories are bad.
    • The Hobbit should have never been 3 2 hour movies. Especially as LoTR was 3 2 hour moves.

      That said, if Netflix can bring interesting stories to the canon, who the hell cares? Good stories are good, bad stories are bad.

      Netflixs series were great when the first started making original series. Now it is mostly what ever crap they can get thee hands on to prop up there library (because the studios are trying to rape them on the licencing of there back catalogs). There are still a few gems comming out everynow and then but you cant count on everything they do to be amazing anymore.
      However this is Amazon making these not Netflix and none of thier original series have been that great in my opinion.

  • It's possible the new series will mine the ponderous but rich Silmarillion for material...

    Not while Christopher Tolkien is alive.

  • Surely The Hobbit was the prequel to Lord of the Rings...

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