With everything that’s been happening with Amazon and The Lord of the Rings franchise, I only have one question. Is it connected to the films?
Amazon has purchased the rights for a Lord of the Rings television show for around 250 million dollars. They’ve already green lit a multi seasonal series with a possible spin off show attached. The series is reported to explore the time period before Fellowship of the Ring. I’ve also heard, although I haven’t found any corroborating sources that the rights also included the Silmarillion,in addition to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit, which would open the flood gates for nearly anything Middle Earth in this series.
I for one, am ecstatic to hear this news and excited to see what this series will bring to the screen. Unlike most people on the internet I did not hate the Hobbit films, although I will admit that it’s not as great a cinematic work as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. But I enjoyed them and thought they were fun movies and set up the Lord of the Rings kind of nicely. Am I saying that I want Jackson and co involved in this new series? No. I am not. I think Jackson has had his fill of Middle Earth after the Lord of the Rings and then went past his appetite with The Hobbit. I think we all wouldn’t mind a departure from Jackson and Middle Earth being so combined. However, what I love about those films, and it’s something that the Shadow of Mordor games has captured as well, is the designs of Middle Earth. The aesthetics of the world that Jackson and the wonderful team at Weta Workshop created in all 6 of the films and 2 video games was fantastic and to me, I can’t imagine Middle Earth looking any other way on screen.
What I want, so much from this new series, is a cohesive story/cinematic universe of Middle Earth. Hate it or love it, I would love this new series to exist in the same universe as the 6 films that Jackson created. To me it seems like an opportunity to good to pass up. Let me explain.
In nearly every article I’ve read there’s the constant reiteration of how it would be a stupid decision to recreate the six films, and I agree. Those stories have been done to death and we don’t really need a remake of them. I don’t want one, nobody wants one, and it seems the people at Amazon don’t want one either, as the show is set before the Trilogy. So instead of remaking it, they should acknowledge the films’ existence by nodding to it design wise. You could even cross over certain characters like Legolas or if you’re lucky tie in Gollum, or have Cate Blanchett reprise her role as Galadriel. Or literally anybody could come back, Eomer, Theoden, Faramir, etc. But why stop there? Bring back Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel or Lee Pace as Thranduil. Maybe they could even visit Bard at Lake Town. Have a few main characters meet up in Bree or camp at Weathertop for a night. There’s plenty to explore and having a few character connections, to show that it’s all connected to the films would be a great move on Amazon’s part.
Allow me to take my opinion even further, by suggesting a cross over with the extremely successful video games. Sure they take liberties with Tolkien lore, but it is a video game and this is a TV series, things change in adaptations. But it could open up the world to even richer possibilities, as the wraith character of Celebrimbor/stallion would be really cool! Honestly, I’m not expecting them to adapt Tolkien’s work with the utmost accuracy and to make it more “Game of Thrones”-y like Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) wants, then they will have to alter the material a bit to spice it up if you will. So the most I’m hoping for, is good solid stories and a “oh that’s cool” factor.
Slightly tangential, let me address something else. For everyone who says that Bezos is making a mistake, allow me to add that he did not become one of the richest men in the world by making stupid decisions. So if he’s willing to put out 250 million just for the rights to make a series, there’s obviously gonna be some lucrative potential in it.
So agree with me or not, I think that a TV series set in the same universe as both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies in conjunction with the Shadow of Mordor games would not only be a good idea, but a great one. With so much crossover potential and a plethora of designs and ideas to play off of, it would be a great way to make it interesting to book lovers and movie lovers alike. Like I said previously, I’m not expecting them to adhere to the books for anything other than guidelines of how the events of Middle Earth will play out, and I’m not bothered by that. The books are great and they’ll always be the books and the films are the films but they’ll never be the books and that’s okay, they’re not trying to be. For me, just the average Joe who loves both the films and books, for different reasons, it would be incredible to see a cinematic Universe of Middle Earth.