Amazon Lord of The Rings: The Next Big Thing?
Amazon has acquired the rights to produce J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” for television for its Prime streaming service. The multi-seasonal show will feature new story lines preceding J. R. R Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring”. The online giant has spent more than $250 million to secure the rights to an ongoing TV show set in Middle-earth, which will include multiple seasons and the potential for a spin-off, all to air which is exclusively for Amazon Prime Video streaming platform.
The idea is that the hugely popular fantasy series is the thing that has the best chance of going toe to toe with its rivals like HBO, Netflix and Hulu, and a total of almost $6 billion at the box office which seems pretty promising. “The Lord of the Rings have a strong resemblance of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” which is one of the biggest series in the world.
For the starters, Amazon has already committed to five seasons of this series and will begin the production within two years of the deal or else Amazon will violate the deal it signed with J. R. R Tolkien estate and the book publisher HarperCollins. Amazon might want to use material from the films for its show though Line doesn’t own the TV rights of Lord of the Rings. It will also cover different ground, focusing on previously unexplored stories which are based on J.R. R. Tolkien’s original writings.
What is Amazon saying?
The Press Release from Amazon did not include any mention of when the series will premiere or who are the actors involved in the series, who is the producer and director. Also, there is definitely the possibility for spinoff series.
“The Lord of the Rings” captures the imagination of generation of fans which depicts the cultural phenomena through literature and the big screen. This is the most expensive series ever made. It will be exclusive to Amazon Prime Video. You can get the Prime video as one of several benefits from the Prime subscription which is available for $99 per year. While there is been no official statement from Amazon, the show is expected to be on the way by November 2019. Amazon will Produce this series along with the Tolkien Estate and Trust where Jackson is reportedly in talks about becoming an executive producer of the show. It is interesting that the authors of the book “The Lord of Rings” will be closely involved in the production.
Show’s Future Planning
Amazon has planned to produce five seasons of Lord of the Rings TV series which is the part of its $250 million rights deal. The details about the cast are not announced yet. But Ian McKellen, who played the role Gandalf in the original trilogy, has expressed his desire to work in this project. Meanwhile, actor John Rhys Davies, who played the role of dwarf Gimli has criticised Amazon for making a series. He stated that Amazon is not concerned of doing it better, rather Amazon is more about making more money. But the co-star Sean Astin of Serkis was more positive about the prospect of reprising his role as Samwise Gamgee.
Lord of the Rings has more brand recognition for audiences than any of the other series, but you don’t have to look back to discover that Game of Thrones have been a huge successful series. In addition to Game of Thrones, Starz wisely acquired another bestselling fantasy named Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. The premiere of Thrones has 16.5 million viewers for its 7th Season. This series is also based on popular fantasy book series, which has proven to be expensive shows.
How will the audience receive it?
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will survive if its gamble falls short of taking the crown away from Game of Thrones. Amazon might soon be launching a free, ad-supported version of Prime video. If this Lord of the Rings series becomes the most popular TV series, then Amazon could expect to see a major increase in its viewership for any theoretical new streaming platform. Amazon maintains the TV and film service which is one of the biggest draws of Amazon Prime and it remains as one of the integral part of its global strategy. Amazon stated that, they are looking for what people care a lot about as people renew their Prime Membership at higher rate and free trails are converted into paid membership at a higher rate. Some Industry believe that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show will not pay off the organization.
Repercussions after announcement of the show
Days before the announcement from Amazon, Disney has made billions out of its acquisitions of Marvel and Star Wars producer Lucasfilm’s. Disney also pulled the contents from Netflix and launched its own streaming service. Apple have also roped in a string of talents to launch its own TV and Series ambitions. Apple hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from the Sony Pictures, who made the popular series such as Breaking Bad and The Crown.
Amazon has innovative business model which is so multi-faceted, which makes it is impossible to write off Amazon from the rival competition. So, this tactical move from Amazon will surely be an huge success.