Amazon chief Jeff Bezos began working on the deal in September to bring the next Game of Thrones series to streaming. Netflix was vying for the rights, but ultimately Amazon won out and got the rights from the Tolkien Estate.
Since his death in 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien's family has taken over creative control of his works and even published books past his death, including The Silmarillion, a story taking places thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings.
In past years, the Tolkien estate was hesitant to sell rights for more movies or televsion series to be made on Tolkien's works. Rumor was they weren't happy with Peter Jackson's sage. Attorney Matt Galsor helped broker the 2017 deal between the estate and Amazon.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Galsor said, "This is the most complicated deal I've ever seen, but it was handled relatively quickly, in a way that brought the parties together in a close relationship. It was tough, but everybody liked each other and felt like a team more as the deal closed."
In the terms of the deal, Amazon has a five season commitment, but has to be in production within two years.
No new details have surfaced since Amazon secured the rights. There is no show runner or directors or even potential stars. With a project this massive, the clock is ticking.
The latest season of Game of Thrones cost HBO $70 million to produce each episode. The final season will cost even more, totaling $15 million per episode. That's an insane amount of money for television.
The market of TV has changed and bigger projects are being made. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy amassed over $5 billion dollars, so Amazon's faith in a TV series may not be misguided. Still, bringing this to the small screen will be no easy feat.
The last piece of the puzzle is what will the show be about? Will Amazon make an adaptation of The Silmarillion that features interesting characters over the span of a thousand years? Or will it be a remake of the Lord of the Rings for the small screen? A remake no one is asking for. Or will they go into uncharted territory and create their own stories in the world that J.R.R. Tolkien created?
These are answers we are waiting for.
Game of Thrones will end in 2019 and this Lord of the Rings show may be the next big show for fans.
Are you excited for a Lord of the Rings show?