Werthead

Amazon and WB discussing new LORD OF THE RINGS TV series

237 posts in this topic

What they should do is make a Keeping Up Appearances style comedy starring Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, Otho And Lotho, possibly set in between The Hobbit and LOTR. The exciting conclusion could be Lobelia finally getting Bag End and those damned spoons

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Reminds me, there was an article waaaaaay back when TFotR first came out detailing how if the Council of Elrrond followed the book exactly it would be its own 3 hour movie.

 

The DVD/Blu-Ray special features (which are still worth watching) has some stuff on the scripting. The first pass of the Council of Elrond had it being about 50 minutes long by itself, so in each pass they had to pare it down and get it down further.

 

Quote

 

I wonder how that works in terms of the appendixes? (or whatever the plural is if that is grammatically incorrect). Does that come bundled into the rights of LOTR? 

 

The appendixes are included, so they can use information from them. That's why they could mention the Five Wizards in The Hobbit and the Battle of the Gladden Fields in LotR, but they could not mentioned the other wizard names or depict the battle accurately, as both are only done in Unfinished Tales. Likewise they can mention Beren and Luthien, as they are mentioned in LotR, but they can't tell the story of the legend from The Silmarillion.

With the Hobbit trilogy, it's worth remembering that Jackson wanted 2 movies max and WB/New Line forced him at gunpoint to make it 3 (which is why Del Toro quit). When he suggested not doing it, they mentioned getting someone like Zack Snyder to direct it, which scared Jackson so much that he agreed to do it himself. So I have some sympathy for the position Jackson found himself in, although that doesn't excuse every writing and filming choice.

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I completely missed this news.   Dumbest idea ever.  It's going to be compared against Peter Jackson's version and if it doesn't *beat* that version, it's going to be ridiculed.  

And, where does this fit inside the context knowing that Amazon did tell Bakker they wanted to adapt his series before that apparently fell through?  Did Amazon initially want to adapt PoN because of this desire for the 'next GoT'?  If so, why did they drop it?  Did someone decide to read books?

Edited by Ajûrbkli

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46 minutes ago, Ajûrbkli said:

I completely missed this news.   Dumbest idea ever.  It's going to be compared against Peter Jackson's version and if it doesn't *beat* that version, it's going to be ridiculed.  

And, where does this fit inside the context knowing that Amazon did tell Bakker they wanted to adapt his series before that apparently fell through?  Did Amazon initially want to adapt PoN because of this desire for the 'next GoT'?  If so, why did they drop it?  Did someone decide to read books?

Did Amazon ever say that? The only thing we know is that Chris Weitz was interested in doing it a few years ago but I don't think a studio was ever mentioned.

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Ya, let me find the quote.

 

Here it is.

Quote

Amazon welched on the TV deal. In fact, they sacked everyone involved in it and several other deals with several other authors. Typically, a letter of agreement is as good as a contract in the biz. Once again they have proven themselves innovators.

 

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Eh, series get dumped all the time before they go into production. Prince of Nothing would have been a tough one, too, considering the source material, the cost of producing it, and the relative obscurity of the books ("relative" being the key word there). 

Back on topic, I've been thinking about this more. They probably can't do it, but I'd love to see them do a Shadow of Mordor adaptation around the same time as Netflix is doing their Witcher tv series/movies. There's a massive chance it would be awful, but at least a decent chance it would be incredibly entertaining. 

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I keep forgetting Netflix is doing the witcher series. As I'm unfamiliar with that, I have to admit I'm more curious about it simply because there can be an element of surprise when watching it. With LOTR you actually don't want to be surprised by changes which makes it more like comfort viewing.

For similar reasons it'll be a shame if it results in Wheel of time not being adapted. Not that I blame amazon for choosing one over the other as it's financially a no brainer to go for LOTR. Wheel of time can still be adapted down the road as other companies weigh in. Like Wert mentioned on his blog it could be that CBS, emboldened by Discovery take a risk with WOT. Although Netflix apparently fronted most of the cost for Discovery so it's a much bigger ask from CBS.

I'm still hoping someone will have a go at Robin Hobb's books. They'd be relatively cheap but they are chock full of drama that would work perfectly on TV. I'd maybe start with the liveships but having seen the quality of some young actors at the moment (Stranger things/it) they could start with Fitz. Actually thinking about it, liveships would probably be a nice stop-gap to allow people to get used to recasting characters as they age.

Anyway, while LOTR seems a dull/safe option I suspect it will still be a massive hit (with the money involved they'll hire a good creative team to maximise potential, surely?). Ultimately, this will be good for futire adaptations of books as networks without GOT and LOTR look on with jealousy and start looking to get in on the action.

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On 11/5/2017 at 11:25 PM, Ran said:

 

Whenever they finally decide to do a Star Wars series, that'll be big.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/9/16631218/disney-star-wars-live-action-television-show-streaming-service:

During today’s quarterly financial call for the Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Iger announced that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will be helming his own Star Warstrilogy. But that isn’t all: Disney also plans to create a live-action Star Wars television show for its upcoming online streaming service.

Heh. But that gives you a sense of why Amazon is pushing so hard on this.

Edited by Ran

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/9/16631218/disney-star-wars-live-action-television-show-streaming-service:

 

 

Heh. But that gives you a sense of why Amazon is pushing so hard on this.

I guess the big difference is that I very much doubt Disney's plan is to remake episodes I-VI as a TV show. They'll be dangling something new in front of us - otherwise we could just watch the films on their streaming service.

Rian Johnson must have done a really good job to be handed a trilogy before his first star wars film is tried out.

But it's clear Disney are planning on landing big with their own streaming service in 2019. Combined with the runour they were buying trying to buy up elements of Fox (most likely the Marvel properties) and that's some serious geekbait.

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Oh, I still think the idea of literally adapting LotR to TV is nuts when you have a hugely popular, critically-acclaimed, multi-award winning film production in the recent past. I don't understand what Bezos is thinking, and have said so from the start. But that said, it is clear that Bezos _does_ seem to think remaking LotR at Amazon will get him "Amazon's Game of Thrones", and he wants something that has a chance of getting that level of popularity and acclaim because everyone else is hunting the same sort of success.

 

 

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Insane.  Will anythjbg actually happen the first few episodes apart from Bilbo leaving andFrodo becoming middle-aged?

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Title spiel:

"He's a king in exile, ain't got any allies, apart from an old dude in a hat. Now he knows his destiny, but he needs to find himself first...and just maybe, find some friends along the way."

ARAGORN: RANGER OF THE NORTH (howl of guitar music)

Starring Definitely Not Viggo Mortensen, But Probably Orlando Bloom Will Show Up

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56 minutes ago, Triskele said:

One interesting thing is this

Quote

for which Amazon has acquired a “multi-season” commitment from the Tolkien estate and HarperCollins

Again, Tolkien Estate is being mentioned, and no mention of WB, so do we really know who is selling Amazon rights, and what those rights entail?

The Silmarillion is technically a prequel, too, though bringing it closer to the LOTR timeline is more likely.

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So I wasn't far off in speculating that the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen was an idea -- they're definitely looking to events before FotR. And with Aragorn you can have him traipsing about Middle-earth in his Thorongil days, visiting the Riddermark and Gondor, I suppose (in fact, you even have a nice timeline here -- he starts in 2957 T.A., and then in 2980 T.A. ends it by going to Lothlorien, meeting Arwen, and plighting his troth). And Sean Astin's idea of seeing the dwarven expedition to Moria would be another possibility. 

I'm not strictly sure how I feel about this all, but it certainly makes buckets more sense than literally adapting LotR again.

Edited by Ran

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According to this report:

 

https://www.inverse.com/article/38390-lord-of-the-rings-amazon-prequel-series-confirmed-about-what

 

Quote

 

The interesting thing about this unprecedentedly large and expensive deal — which industry observers have characterized “insane” — is that Amazon seems to have gained access to every bit of the Tolkien Middle-earth library.

What Does Amazon Get?

Amazon has access to the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, the prequel The Hobbit, the entirety of The Silmarillion, and everything else Middle-earth. The possibilities are numerous, and Amazon announced the deal “includes a potential additional spin-off series,” similarly to how HBO has been developing several Game of Thrones spin-offs.

 

 

Hmm.

I'd be very, very, very surprised indeed if the Tolkien estate had actually granted Amazon the rights to The Silmarillion. But the deal seems to have come with an unnaturally colossal expenditure, such that I'm thinking maybe they have optioned the right for Amazon to access everything Tolkien ever wrote about Middle-earth. 

If the estate have finally relented, I suppose it just goes to show that everyone does have a "price" after all. 

Edited by Krishtotter

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That article is completely speculative, though. They're simply taking the fact that it's going to explore a story or stories set prior to LotR to mean that _everything_ before LotR is part of the rights, which is unfounded.

Earlier reports made it clear that LotR, and LotR alone, was under discussion. But LotR's appendices basically provide an outline of the history of the Third Age, so in theory you could argue that anything in that time frame is, technically, possible. But I doubt it. But Silm? Nope.

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23 minutes ago, Ran said:

That article is completely speculative, though. They're simply taking the fact that it's going to explore a story or stories set prior to LotR to mean that _everything_ before LotR is part of the rights, which is unfounded.

Earlier reports made it clear that LotR, and LotR alone, was under discussion. But LotR's appendices basically provide an outline of the history of the Third Age, so in theory you could argue that anything in that time frame is, technically, possible. But I doubt it. But Silm? Nope.

Agreed, I think the article is engaging in off-base speculation too.

I'm just not too sure what they could viably achieve with the appendices (which is at least a theoretically possible conclusion as to what they might be going for). There is a lot of material there but its in bullet-point-like summarized form - they would have to come up with entirely fresh dialogue and scenes.

To that extent, it wouldn't really be an "adaption" properly so-called. It would be akin to what the GoT writers are doing right now with seasons 6 - 8, only perhaps even more difficult.

I can't understand why Amazon would fork out so much cash for such slim pickings - a sketch, really, vis-a-vis the appendices (other than, says, the Aragorn/Arwen Tale).  

I mean Deadline shared this bit of info about the price of doing business with the Tolkien estate:

 

Amazon, Netflix and HBO had been approached by the Tolkien estate, who had been shopping the project. It came with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200 – $250 million range, though some sources say the fee could be slightly below $200 million. That is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production, in proposition whose finances industry observers called “insane.” It is a payment that has to be made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series. On top of that, the budget for a fantasy series of that magnitude is likely to be $100-$150 million a season.

 

Strange investment on their part imho.

 

Edited by Krishtotter

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