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Even the new ‘Lord of the Rings’ owners don’t know what to do with the franchise

What will Embracer do with Tolkien? Even they don't know.

The Lord of the Rings poster
Image via New Line Cinema

The Embracer Group is picking up IPs and game developers left and right, but something tells us that even the holding company doesn’t know what to do with their latest acquisition, which unfortunately happens to be one of the most beloved stories in the entertainment world. In a recent interview underlining their Q2 earnings, Embracer talked about The Lord of the Rings and what we can expect from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world in the near future.

The rights to The Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle-earth at large is such a shambles that even the Tolkien Estate doesn’t know its front from back. Right now, New Line is developing a new anime film sharing continuity with Peter Jackson’s cinematic trilogy, while Amazon Studios retains the rights to the book’s appendices and continues to develop The Rings of Power, a show that came out to middling reviews earlier this year.

Embracer, meanwhile, has bought the rights to both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit from Middle-earth Enterprises, allowing them to develop any number of movies, games, or other media from Tolkien’s work. Though for now, the company isn’t sure how to proceed.

“Obviously we closed the transaction after quarter end, early October, and are now talking to all stakeholders, the film companies, the business partners, the game companies,” Embracer co-founder Lars Wingefors said. “We are taking the perspective [of] a very long-term view: how should we, together with the other stakeholders, develop this world-leading fantasy IP into the future? Gaming being one part of it.

But it’s too early to give color on our specific plans. I think we are still open-minded for […] input into that. I think [there’s] also very interesting conversations around other media than gaming relating to that IP. But unfortunately I have to tell you: stay tuned for the future.”

Amazon Studios may not have been a veteran of the television stage, but the company had a lot of experience going into The Lord of the Rings. Embracer primarily being a video game company, Tolkien fans are now wondering if they’re, as Gandalf would put it, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Hopefully, and as many people familiar with these corporate maneuvers have predicted, Embracer will hold on to the IP for a little while and then sell it off for a better price since fantasy is all the rave these days.

About the author

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan is a religious consumer of movies, TV shows, video games, and speculative fiction. And when he isn't doing that, he likes to write about them. He can get particularly worked up when talking about 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire' or any work of high fantasy, come to think of it.