Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the pinnacle of fantasy filmmaking, with each of the three installments standing on their own merits as modern classics. Put them together, and you have one of the all-time great works of cinema that should remain untouched and never be remade, although you can’t rule anything out these days.
Jackson ended up returning to the well a decade later after Guillermo del Toro abandoned the director’s chair on The Hobbit, and you could just tell that his heart was never really in it. After all, the second trilogy doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the quality of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King and received lukewarm reviews and underwhelming box office returns as a result.
Amazon are now planting their flag in Middle-earth, having shelled out $250 million for the TV rights to the series and pledged to spend a billion dollars on five seasons’ worth of content, making their Lord of the Rings show the most expensive small screen project in history. We previously heard that the current plan is for later seasons to dovetail with the events seen in the movies, and in a recent interview, Elijah Wood refused to rule out the possibility of playing Frodo Baggins once more in a cameo appearance.
“If there was a world where that made sense, and was organic to what they’re doing, then yes. Look, any excuse to get to go to New Zealand to work on something I am absolutely there.”
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The actor was also quick to point out that the series taking place long before the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy means that the title isn’t quite accurate, but it isn’t like Amazon would call it anything else when the brand is still so popular and easily marketable to general audiences.
“They’re calling it The Lord of the Rings, but I think that’s slightly misleading. From what I understand, the material they are working on exists chronologically further back in the history in the lore of Lord of the Rings or Middle-Earth than any characters represented in Lord of the Rings. It sounds more Silmarillion era. Not to get nerdy, but it’s the Second Age of Middle-Earth.”
The Hobbit trilogy’s forced and unnecessary references to The Lord of the Rings ultimately hurt movies that were already fighting an uphill battle to begin with, so hopefully Amazon’s mega-budget TV show avoids leaning too heavily into fan service and places the focus on the story at hand, whether Frodo Baggins shows up or not.