lord of the rings tv series update

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke has attempted to clear up some rumors about that super-expensive Lord of the Rings TV series, including whether or not Peter Jackson is going to be involved. Salke also says the show will be “one big series” with “characters you love.”

Amazon dropped a huge chunk of change to snap up the right to the Lord of the Rings for a new TV series, but we’re still not entirely sure what the show is going to be about. Reports indicate it will be some sort of prequel story. There’s also a rumor that the first season will focus on a young Aragorn, with future seasons possibly focusing on different characters.

And what about Peter Jackson? Is he involved? One report had Jackson claiming he had no involvement with the show. Then, almost immediately after that report broke, another report surfaced with Jackson saying he was involved in some capacity. So what’s going on here?

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We’ll Know More in a Month

In a new interview with Deadline, Jennifer Salke, the new head of Amazon Studios, attempted to set the record straight. For one thing, Salke reveals that despite months of rumblings, the Lord of the Rings deal was only finalized very recently, which might explain why there have been so many inconsistent rumors. According to Salke, we’ll know more about the show in a month, including a potential list of writers:

Despite all the noise around Lord of the Rings, the deal only closed like a month ago. But in the meantime, I’ve sat with Simon Tolkien for a couple of hours, and (Amazon TV executive) Sharon (Tal Yguado) has spent tons of time with them. She had spent the last couple of months meeting anyone who had said, I’m really passionate about it and I want to get in and talk about the show and what’s possible. I think you’ll see us honing in on a strategy in the next month, which might involve a group of writers.

Peter Jackson - Amazon Lord of the Rings TV Show

Peter Jackson

Salke goes on to confirm that Peter Jackson is sort of involved in the show. While Jackson’s involvement still seems to be up in the air, Salke says that Amazon has had several conversations with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy director:

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.

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One Big Series

So what the heck is Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show about? Salke doesn’t dish on specifics, but she does say the show will be “one big series,” and feature beloved characters (as opposed to brand new ones):

I think you can know that we’re not remaking the movies, but we’re also not starting from scratch. So, it’ll be characters you love.

When pressed for info on which characters those might be, Salke feigns ignorance, saying: “I can’t give that out, I don’t have anything for it.” Salke’s “one big series” claim can be interpreted to mean that the show is going to have a continuing storyline from season to season, like Game of Thrones. Or it can just simply mean that this show is going to be big, making great use of the rumored billion dollar budget.

Salke also says that the show will follow the lead of Peter Jackson’s original trilogy and use New Zealand as a stand-in for Middle-earth:

I think we might be in New Zealand. I don’t know, but we’re going to have to go somewhere interesting that could provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible. There’s no shortage of ambition for the project. We’ll go where we need to go to make it happen.

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