So, if you haven’t heard (why haven’t you heard?) Lord of the Rings is coming back to our screens in the form of a streamable Amazon Prime Video series.
Fan reaction was mixed to say the least. While some are elated at a cinematic return to Tolkien’s Middle Earth, others feel that the trilogy has set to bar high enough and shouldn’t be tampered with.
I, like so many others, fall somewhere in the middle… Earth.
Lord of the Rings on TV could be amazing, or it could be some horrendous attempt to capture the Game of Thrones fan base that goes further down the CGI rabbit hole than the disastrous Hobbit movies.
Just like the Great Eye, we’ll be watching this one intently.
But, before we get to the premiere, there is going plenty of Lord of the Rings TV show news to keep an eye on. So what do we know already?
Amazon Are Investing $1 Billion
What’s cooler than a million dollars?
Amazon have already committed to investing $1 billion in the Lord of the Rings TV show, making it the most expensive series of all time. We don’t know how many episodes per season there will be, so we don’t know how that equates the current title holder, Game of Thrones, with the final season costing $15 million per episode, but it’s likely to be more.
Money does not a good TV show make, but it probably helps. A fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings needs a massive budget to really bring the world to life, and that’s exactly what the creators will get.
There Will Be 5 Seasons
Amazon really are going full-throttle with this one. Not only have they promised the biggest budget in TV history, but they’ve already set in stone that they plan to commission at least five seasons of the Lord of the Rings TV show.
Granted, if it flops, they’ll probably u-turn on this one, right?
Well, they can’t. Part of acquiring the rights to the series involved a commitment to five seasons. So, whether it’s the greatest thing to ever hit TV or a colossal failure, we’ll have lots of Lord of the Rings to catch on Amazon Prime Video.
Sir Ian McKellen Is Eyeing a Return
How do you make Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings? You get Sir Ian McKellen onboard.
The man is Gandalf, there is no denying it, and despite the failings of his last outing as the legendary wizard (something that was entirely not his fault) he’s very much willing to have another crack.
The actor is reportedly very interested in reprising his role; which I think we can all agree would be incredible. However, his return would also invariably tie it completely to the movie canon, which might be a mistake. The movies and the TV show might be better as separate entities, especially if they aren’t aesthetically similar.
Anyway, it probably isn’t a surprise McKellen wants to return to the role, as it gives him a chance to bring his beloved Gandalf back to his glory days. Although, one thing to note is that the ageing thespian is currently 79 years old.
By the time filming starts, and five series play out, he could be edging 90. It’s not an impossible feat, but I mean…
Also, it’s worth noting he isn’t cast. He’s only ventured his interest. No official casting has been announced.
It Will Be Set Prior To the Fellowship of the Ring
Thankfully, Amazon are steering clear of the actual Lord of the Rings novels and movies. Instead, they are going to dip into the history and mythology of Middle Earth before The Fellowship of the Ring.
Where does this leave us?
It's unlikely to cover too much of The Shire or hobbits in general, and will instead probably delve into Sauron’s rise to power before The One Ring is discovered in Hobbiton. We could see young Aragorn, the fall of Moria or even go further back, to when Sauron initially gained his strength, to the forging of The Rings of Power. Or, it may go even earlier than that, to the years of Morgoth and some of the wilder tales of Gods and monsters in Tolkien’s extensive world. Although that is unlikely.
At the moment, it’s all speculation, but given that this is a commercial property and they want people to watch, Amazon will undoubtedly clutch onto characters we know and tales we are vaguely familiar with.
Basically, don’t expect anything too far outside the box.
We’re Looking at 2021 Release Date
Amazon are eyeing up the beginning of production in 2019, with a two-year schedule planned for the first season. With that in mind, we’re basically looking at a 2021 release date for the first season. That’s not exactly miles off, which means we’ll be returning to Middle Earth pretty soon!
However, three years is still a bit of a wait. In the meantime, you might want some epic fantasy tales to tide you over as you keep your eyes peeled for more Lord of the Rings TV show news. On The Azrian Portal, you’ll find plenty of fantasy short stories to keep you occupied. Why not take a read?