Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings became one of the most anticipated TV shows the very minute it was announced. The company has big plans for the property, having already commissioned multiple seasons with potential for spinoffs, and the story’s rumored to be about the adventures of a young Aragorn. Of course, all this will take place in the considerable shadow of Peter Jackson’s beloved and critically acclaimed movie adaptations, which brought Middle-earth to life in the early 2000s and defined much of the imagery of the franchise.
Up until now, we were under the impression that he wasn’t involved at all. In fact, Jackson had even said he was looking forward to it precisely because he wasn’t going to be part of it.
“I’m kind of looking forward to it. I was a guy who didn’t get to see The Lord of the Rings like everybody else because I had to make it, so I’m looking forward to seeing somebody else’s take on the Tolkien world.”
That position appears to have shifted slightly, though, as the director is now claiming that he’s been approached for script help. In an interview with Metro to promote Mortal Engines, he was asked about the project and said the following:
“I don’t have thoughts on it because I haven’t seen [anything], I think they’re going to send us some scripts to see if we can help them along. I wish them all the best and if we can help them we certainly will try. ‘It’s a big task.”
This is at least an indication that Amazon is sticking pretty closely to the tone established by Jackson’s movies, and have figured that the best way for them to do that is for the director give the scripts a once over. It also tallies with what Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon’s original TV shows, explained when she said that she was “not remaking the movies, but also not starting from scratch.”
We’ll see the fruits of their labour sometime in 2021, but with Game of Thrones coming to an end next year, many companies are eyeing fantasy properties in order to fill the gap. And whatever Amazon are cooking up with The Lord of the Rings, it has to be a frontrunner in capturing an audience hungry for spells and swords.