With HBO's epic fantasy series Game Of Thrones coming to an end (spin-offs notwithstanding), there's industry interest in finding another high-profile literary property, even if it's already been turned into six films with a combined running time of two years. That's right—streaming services Amazon and Netflix and pay cable giant HBO are reportedly eyeing Lord Of The Rings for an adaptation, per a Deadline tipster.
For those of you who somehow missed the global phenomenon of JRR Tolkien's series, both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring were adapted into animated films in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Then director Peter Jackson got his hands on the material and made a live-action Fellowship that came out in 2001 and starred Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen and Sean Bean (hey, GoT connection!). He followed that with The Two Towers and the Best Picture-winning Return Of The King, all of which were really long but really good. Then he was like, "If George Lucas gets to ruin his masterpiece trilogy with a terrible prequel trilogy no one asked for, then so can I" and he turned The Hobbit into three (three! Because The Silmarillion was just so relevant?) more movies that were all really boring and dumb, but don't tell Lee Pace fans.
Are we all caught up? Great. Because the amount of money potentially being spent on turning this series into an episodic series will make you weep for our healthcare system: "The project...comes with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200–$250 million range. That is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production. It is a payment that has to be made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series," per Deadline.
A quarter of a billion dollars just to be allowed to spend probably another hundred million or so turning the journey to Rivendell into a ten-hour slog with what will probably have very nice cinematography despite the fact that we're all watching it on our phones in bed.
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