Tolkien TV Series in the works

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Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Havard » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:29 pm

A television series based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is currently in the works, with Amazon Studios reportedly the frontrunner to bring the classic fantasy novel to the small screen.

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Variety reports that the Tolkien estate has been shopping a new series about the 1954 novel to networks with help from Warner Bros. Television; the production company is also the home of New Line Cinema, which distributed director Peter Jackson's big-screen Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also reportedly involved in attempting to acquire the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the Warner Bros. and Tolkien estate partnership comes four months after the two sides resolved a five-year, $80 million lawsuit regarding profit participation (and slot machines) over the studio's Tolkien films.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety add that the project, which would likely take a Game of Thrones approach to the subject matter, is a long way from being officially announced, with no writer or director yet on board to reinterpret Tolkien's epic.

Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy combined for nearly $3 billion at the box office when it was released in three installments – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King – between 2001 and 2003. All three films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, with The Return of the King ultimately winning that award along with Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and eight more Oscars.

A Jackson-directed trilogy dedicated to Tolkien's The Hobbit followed from 2012 to 2014.


http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/lor ... ks-w511077

Would you be interested in a TV show based on the Lord of the Rings? Do you think this could lead to other Tolkien properties such as the Silmarillion finally making it to the small screen?

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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Falconer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:19 am

I think another adaptation of LotR would be nice, particularly in the TV medium. To me, the movies were rather flashy over-the-top bang-crash. I would enjoy a more delicate, nuanced take that valued Tolkien’s words delivered well. It could be a love letter to the English language, as well as to nature.

A Silmarillion series could be amazing, but, it’s not on the table at all, not as long as Christopher lives.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Sturm » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:42 am

I agree with Falconer, I enjoyed the movies up to a certain point but they really were more superhero action than Tolkien, and I fully understand Christopher Tolkien harsh judgement of them.
However it's hard to predict if a tv series could do better or worse. The Game of Thrones approach worries me, as it depends what that means. High levels of sex and violence certainly do not appear in the Tolkien material. Well violence yes, but it is certainly not as graphic as in Martin..
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby shesheyan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:46 pm

Nope not for me. I would prefer an original fantasy series. I tend to agree with Ursula K Leguin when she says we've entered an era in which creativity has been replaced by an endless reuse of already published material and franchises.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Havard » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:58 pm

I am a huge fan of the movies myself. Fellowship especially is as close to perfect as I could imagine.

However, it is just one interpretation of the book(s). I dont think seeing another interpretation would be a bad thing. The Game of Thrones comment did seem a bit off putting, but I think it is just a matter of referencing things that are popular without much other meaning.

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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Big Mac » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:36 pm

Rolling Stone wrote:Variety reports that the Tolkien estate has been shopping a new series about the 1954 novel to networks with help from Warner Bros.


This surprises me. I had the impression that all of Peter Jackson's work was built on the back of a really old deal that J.R.R. Tolkien made to pay for his kids to go to university. I thought it was the same deal used for that animated cartoon.

Falconer wrote:A Silmarillion series could be amazing, but, it’s not on the table at all, not as long as Christopher lives.


If Christopher Tolkien doesn't want a Silmarillion deal, why would Variety say that he would be shopping a TV deal for another of his father's books? He doesn't strike me as someone who is just holding out for more money. I got the impression that he didn't want any sort of movie to be made from his dad's books. It doesn't seem to add up. :?
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Falconer » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:10 pm

Reporters often don’t understand the difference between the Tolkien Estate and Middle-earth Enterprises. I agree the former is a much more passive partner in this than the story suggests. What tends to happen is that Enterprises never pays the Estate its share, until it needs the green light for another project. And Enterprises is always overstepping the bounds of the original agreement (a recent lawsuit had to do with Tolkien-themed online gambling). So, at most you can say they have settled the lawsuits and removed all barriers to this thing happening.

I agree also about GOT. You can’t turn Tolkien’s story into something about incest and decapitations and sarcastic quips. So that’s probably (hopefully) not what they mean. They just want the same kind of $$.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Falconer » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:27 pm

I do think the FotR movie, especially the Extended cut, is for the most part true to the book and a triumph of a film. Audiences’ familiarity with it is actually a bonus, going into a TV series, as I see it. You can spend three episodes in the Shire, and two episodes with the Tom Bombadil cycle. You don’t have to feel like you have to zip past it to get to the rest of the story, because you have more time, and because the audience knows that stuff is coming.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:46 pm

Falconer wrote:Reporters often don’t understand the difference between the Tolkien Estate and Middle-earth Enterprises. I agree the former is a much more passive partner in this than the story suggests. What tends to happen is that Enterprises never pays the Estate its share, until it needs the green light for another project. And Enterprises is always overstepping the bounds of the original agreement (a recent lawsuit had to do with Tolkien-themed online gambling). So, at most you can say they have settled the lawsuits and removed all barriers to this thing happening.


Tolkien Estate is represented by Christopher Tolkien right? And Middle Earth Enterprises are allowed to lisence The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but not the other works by JRRT?

I agree also about GOT. You can’t turn Tolkien’s story into something about incest and decapitations and sarcastic quips. So that’s probably (hopefully) not what they mean. They just want the same kind of $$.


Agreed. Maybe they also mean a fantasy series with a high production value. I hope that is the case.

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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:53 pm

Falconer wrote:I do think the FotR movie, especially the Extended cut, is for the most part true to the book and a triumph of a film. Audiences’ familiarity with it is actually a bonus, going into a TV series, as I see it. You can spend three episodes in the Shire, and two episodes with the Tom Bombadil cycle. You don’t have to feel like you have to zip past it to get to the rest of the story, because you have more time, and because the audience knows that stuff is coming.


Personally, I actually prefer the cinematic release to the Extended cut from a pure storytelling perspective. I like how everything is depicted as idyllic and happy in the Shire and how things then take you on an emotional roller coaster from there ending with the "death" of Gandalf before a final destruction of the Fellowship. But I also enjoyed the Extended cut of course and the added scenes early on are more true to the original material.

Good points about how the TV format will allow them to include additional scenes since you dont need the strict focus on the dramatic structures of the movie. Also, including the Tom Bombadil & Barrow Wight scenes will be refreshing and will help make the TV show into something different from the movies. I was much less happy with Jackson's deviations from the material in Two Towers (Extended version was somewhat better) so I hope they stay more true to the novel when they get to that story, especially the bits with Rohan.

I wonder if they will treat the events following the death of Sauron as a separate season?

And will they start with the Hobbit? Or perhaps integrate it as a series of flashbacks, not just the Gollum scenes?

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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Angel Tarragon » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:38 pm

From what I read, it sounds like a marriage of the tones from LOTR and Game of Thrones. While I love fantasy, I am not to keen on GOT. So I am on a wait and see/hear about the series. Hopefully the series will not have too much in the way of adult themes, I'd like it to be family friendly...as GOT started off as anything but it would be nice to see the LOTR series be acceptable for younglings and adults that want just a little more purity to their entertainment.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby shesheyan » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:24 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:From what I read, it sounds like a marriage of the tones from LOTR and Game of Thrones. While I love fantasy, I am not to keen on GOT. So I am on a wait and see/hear about the series. Hopefully the series will not have too much in the way of adult themes, I'd like it to be family friendly...as GOT started off as anything but it would be nice to see the LOTR series be acceptable for younglings and adults that want just a little more purity to their entertainment.


My wife and I stopped watching GOT during the first season because of that. We much prefer Vikings in the portrayal of adult themes.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby night_druid » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:49 pm

If they're going a GOT route, I can see this being spectacularly bad.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Angel Tarragon » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:43 pm

shesheyan wrote:My wife and I stopped watching GOT during the first season because of that. We much prefer Vikings in the portrayal of adult themes.
I haven't seen Vikings yet, I will definitely have to check it out!

night_druid wrote:If they're going a GOT route, I can see this being spectacularly bad.
Yeah, I feel the same. I understand there is a limited well of of ideas, but coming off the heels off of GOT I don't see as a smart move, which is why I am not too optimistic about this.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Falconer » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:16 pm

Amazon has dropped an official press release.
Amazon today announced it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the celebrated fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment. The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.… Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.

Lots of news here. An adaptation of LotR but set before FotR — if taken literally, one might assume the show to be based on the Appendices. There are a lot of interesting stories in the Appendices, but I would speculate that they will center it on Aragorn’s adventures in his youth, when, under the name of Thorongil, he fought for Gondor against the Corsairs of Umbar. Kind of a thin story to base a whole TV series on, but, if they really are going for a “Game of Thrones” type show—intrigue between human nations and houses, sex, sloooow buildup of the war, ignoring vast distances—then, they’ll want a humanocentric story based on Gondor but drawing in Arnor, Rohan, Umbar, Harad, and the Easterlings.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby shesheyan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:44 pm

Falconer wrote:Amazon has dropped an official press release.
Amazon today announced it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the celebrated fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment. The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.… Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.

Lots of news here. An adaptation of LotR but set before FotR — if taken literally, one might assume the show to be based on the Appendices. There are a lot of interesting stories in the Appendices, but I would speculate that they will center it on Aragorn’s adventures in his youth, when, under the name of Thorongil, he fought for Gondor against the Corsairs of Umbar. Kind of a thin story to base a whole TV series on, but, if they really are going for a “Game of Thrones” type show—intrigue between human nations and houses, sex, sloooow buildup of the war, ignoring vast distances—then, they’ll want a humanocentric story based on Gondor but drawing in Arnor, Rohan, Umbar, Harad, and the Easterlings.


Interesting. I'm on board with the idea of following Aragorn and his «merry band of rangers» across ME.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Angel Tarragon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:14 am

Falconer wrote:Lots of news here. An adaptation of LotR but set before FotR...
Blargh. I have no interest in this.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Big Mac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:14 pm

Falconer wrote:Amazon has dropped an official press release.
Amazon today announced it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the celebrated fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment. The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.… Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.

Lots of news here. An adaptation of LotR but set before FotR — if taken literally, one might assume the show to be based on the Appendices. There are a lot of interesting stories in the Appendices, but I would speculate that they will center it on Aragorn’s adventures in his youth, when, under the name of Thorongil, he fought for Gondor against the Corsairs of Umbar. Kind of a thin story to base a whole TV series on, but, if they really are going for a “Game of Thrones” type show—intrigue between human nations and houses, sex, sloooow buildup of the war, ignoring vast distances—then, they’ll want a humanocentric story based on Gondor but drawing in Arnor, Rohan, Umbar, Harad, and the Easterlings.


If this ever reaches a proper TV channel, I might give it a go.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Falconer » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:01 pm

Apparently Christopher Tolkien resigned from the Tolkien Estate effective August 31. It is the end of an era.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:04 pm

Falconer wrote:Apparently Christopher Tolkien resigned from the Tolkien Estate effective August 31. It is the end of an era.

:o

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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:19 am

Big Mac wrote:If this ever reaches a proper TV channel, I might give it a go.
Don't hold your breath. At last Netflix shows have a chance of being released to dvd and blu-ray. I have yet to notice any Amazon movies or shows get that treatment and their production company has any even tighter stranglehold on their ip, so odds are likely it will never be on mainstream television or get a home video treatment.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Silverblade-T-E » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:46 am

sigh so many great works need filmed/tv
stop with remakes rehashes etc, do UNAIRED WORKS, YOU MEDIA WHOOS ;)

THE FOREVER WAR
The Misplaced Legion series
1632 series
Nightlord series (and thus great mix of amazing alt history/parallel worlds, magic, vampires who are NOT sparkly assholes)
Black Prism series
The Lords of Dus series
The Books(s) of Swords series
Casca
Safehold series



I doubt strongly they could do a "proper" LOTR, because so much of the book IS nuanced and soft touches and backdrops, it's not "uber sexy mega budget prime time"
be honest, the extreme violence and gorgeous nude babes really has been big point in GOT's favour, which isn't suitable for LOTR at all!
I do NOT wanna see the House of Elrond turned into frikkin "Frodo Does Dallas" :p
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:32 pm

Silverblade-T-E wrote:sigh so many great works need filmed/tv
stop with remakes rehashes etc, do UNAIRED WORKS, YOU MEDIA WHOOS ;)

THE FOREVER WAR
The Misplaced Legion series
1632 series
Nightlord series (and thus great mix of amazing alt history/parallel worlds, magic, vampires who are NOT sparkly assholes)
Black Prism series
The Lords of Dus series
The Books(s) of Swords series
Casca
Safehold series



I doubt strongly they could do a "proper" LOTR, because so much of the book IS nuanced and soft touches and backdrops, it's not "uber sexy mega budget prime time"
be honest, the extreme violence and gorgeous nude babes really has been big point in GOT's favour, which isn't suitable for LOTR at all!
I do NOT wanna see the House of Elrond turned into frikkin "Frodo Does Dallas" :p


QFT !

I would add The Black Company to your list.
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby night_druid » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:57 pm

Silverblade-T-E wrote:I doubt strongly they could do a "proper" LOTR, because so much of the book IS nuanced and soft touches and backdrops, it's not "uber sexy mega budget prime time"
be honest, the extreme violence and gorgeous nude babes really has been big point in GOT's favour, which isn't suitable for LOTR at all!
I do NOT wanna see the House of Elrond turned into frikkin "Frodo Does Dallas" :p


I look forward to the inevitable Arwen/Azog love scene... :P
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Re: Tolkien TV Series in the works

Postby Big Mac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:50 pm

Havard wrote:
Falconer wrote:Apparently Christopher Tolkien resigned from the Tolkien Estate effective August 31. It is the end of an era.

:o


The One Ring has this: In historic move, Christopher Tolkien resigns as director of Tolkien Estate.

And the Tolkien Society has this: Christopher Tolkien resigns as Tolkien Estate director.

The first story is a lot longer, but the second one has a footnote saying that "Christopher remains the literary executor". I'm not sure exactly what that means and how it relates to TV rights.
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