Monkeys Fighting Robots

Amazon announced Monday afternoon that it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings franchise.

Based on the seminal fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkein, this multi-season commitment will be an Amazon Prime Original and produced by Amazon Studios. The Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema will also be involved in the production.

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.” – Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios.

The series will explore new storylines that serve as prequels to The Fellowship of the Ring. Their deal also includes potential spin-off series.

The Lord of the Rings franchise is most known for the titular trilogy, as well as the prequel The Hobbit. Tolkein did explore the time before The Fellowship of the Ring in unfinished writings that were later compiled by his son, including The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin. Whether Amazon will adapt these works remains to be seen.

“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. Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.” – Matt Galsor, representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins

This news should not come as a surprise given the programming push Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has mandated. There have been quite a few change ups at the executive level over at Amazon Studios, as they continue to fight for their own Game of Thrones.

No release date has been announced as of writing.

What do you think of a Lord of the Rings prequel TV series? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!