'Lord of the Rings' TV adaptation coming to Amazon

The original ring from Lord of the Rings films

Amazon, on a quest for a mainstream television hit for its television and film studio, has locked up an impressive candidate in a forthcoming television series based on "The Lord of The Rings" universe.

Amazon Studios - in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema - will produce a new The Lord of the Rings TV series, the company announced on Monday. But that would be true only if you didn't live in the entertainment universe that LOTR helped create, where single films become trilogies and trilogies become multipart series and no potential revenue stream is left undammed. R. R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy series The Lord of the Rings, despite the fact that Peter Jackson's film trilogy was pretty much ideal and a remake is wholly unnecessary. The series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros.

Getting "The Lord of the Rings" series at Amazon could help gain new clout and build up Amazon's ability to grow its Prime memberships through its video service.

"We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for 'The Lord of the Rings, '" said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. The S&P 500 index is up 19.4% for the last 12 months.

The theatrical adaptations of the books, from New Line Cinema, earned a combined gross of almost $6 billion worldwide, Amazon said Monday, and the trilogy won a combined 17 Oscars, including Best Picture.

If Amazon is looking for an opportunity to add the sex, violence, and soap opera drama to Tolkien's world that have made shows like Game of Thrones so successful, this kind of approach would certainly offer the opportunity.

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