Amazon’s massive Lord Of The Rings series has controlled the headlines about the online giant’s streaming arm in recent months. The enormous price tag and possible plot were exciting to fans, while the possibility of Peter Jackson once again getting involved created some added excitement. The director shot down his relationship with the show last week, but a new interview with Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke has provided a glimmer of hope.
It also provides some of the first concrete details from Amazon about the series, what fans can expect when they tune in and just how far the company is into the production according to Variety:
Salke inherited a number of projects in the works, none bigger than a forthcoming series adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” the subject of a massive deal last year that Bezos involved himself personally in. According to Salke, that deal only officially closed last month. But Amazon has been meeting with writers. Salke herself spent three hours with Tolkien’s grandson Simon Tolkien, and the next step is for representatives of the Tolkien estate to meet with writers.
“It’s a partnership,” she said of Amazon’s deal with the estate. “They have some lines in the play on this on strategy and on vision. The great news about that is that they’re actually really thoughtful and smart, as you would expect.”
The Tolkien deal covers most, but not all of the material connected to the author’s Middle Earth saga. Salke said that it is still too early to say what shape, exactly, the series will take. But, she added, “It’s not a remaking of the movies, and it’s not a whole new thing. It’s something in between. It’s not, ‘Oh, it’s “Lord of the Rings” but you don’t recognize anything in it,’ but it’s not totally familiar to you either. So it’s original.”
The final part makes you think about projects like Shadow Of Mordor, existing within the world of the films and books without actually retelling the main story from the movie. If there is one thing nobody should want at this point, it’s a remake of the base Lord Of The Rings story. Peter Jackson did a job that’s hard to beat with his trilogy, so it is no wonder that Amazon is still having talks with him according to Deadline:
The Peter Jackson conversations, right now we’re right in the middle of them. It’s like, how much do you want to be involved, how little? I know there’s been some discussion, and he’s even said some things, but as far as I’m aware, the latest is that we’re just in a conversation with him about how much or how little he would be involved.
This is a little different from the words Jackson used in a recent interview, making it clear that he wasn’t “involved at all in the Lord of the Rings series.” Judging from Salke’s take, he officially isn’t involved yet and he wouldn’t comment on anything until it is official. But the door isn’t shut yet apparently, meaning we could still get his involvement at some level.