Surely I’m not alone in thinking that Amazon is going to have a rough go of it rebooting The Lord of the Rings for TV. After all, Peter Jackson’s cinematic trilogy did earn close to $3 billion at the worldwide box office, and a ten-figure gamble is a risky undertaking no matter how you frame it. Simply put, restarting such a successful and beloved franchise won’t be easy, especially when the driving force behind said triumph will not be involved.
Nonetheless, Amazon Studios took the first step toward production earlier today during the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour. Jennifer Salke, the newly-appointed head of the electronic commerce subsidiary, announced that John D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been officially tasked with penning The Lord of the Rings television series.
In a press release, Salke disclosed that finding the correct personnel to shepherd the project was “a very thoughtful process,” and Payne and McKay, whose writing credits include Star Trek: Beyond and Godzilla vs. Kong, stated: “We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”
Payne and McKay also noted that “the rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity. We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew,” before the studio concluded that “while speculation is human nature, you can trust that when we have more news to share about this journey, we will share it with the world.”
Believed to orbit around a young Aragorn – initially portrayed by Viggo Mortensen on the big screen – The Lord of the Rings television series is currently gestating in the earliest stage of development, but with writers now on board, we imagine things will get going shortly and as soon as Amazon brings us any further updates, we’ll be sure to let you know.