New Lord Of The Rings Movies Are On The Way From Warner Bros. Discovery

One Ring to rule them all and one batch of "The Lord of the Rings" news to promptly break the internet. That's right, folks, Warner Bros. Discovery just announced on an investors earnings call that the company is back in the Middle-earth business. And get this: CEO David Zaslav revealed that the current plan is for "multiple 'The Lord of the Rings' movies."

The Hollywood Reporter has even more details, explaining that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, the subsidiary behind Peter Jackson's acclaimed trilogy of movies, are developing more movies set in original author J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world. Importantly, this is being described as the furthest thing from a "retread" of Jackson's movies. Warner Bros Film Group Co-Chairpersons and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy themselves weighed in on the news, saying the following in a statement:

"Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of 'The Lord of the Rings' on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans. But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure."

Obviously, this statement steers clear of exactly how these new movies may fit in with the Jackson movies — and, notably, Prime Video's "The Rings of Power" series, which recently concluded its first season and remained separate from the canon of the acclaimed movie adaptations. This somewhat confusing situation requires a bit of untangling.

Keep it secret...

The bombshell that Warner Bros. Discovery is intent on returning to the franchise that helped them dominate the field in the early 2000s comes after news that broke last year, in which video game company Embracer laid claim to the rights for both "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." This led to a bit of a turf war between Embracer and Warner Bros., the latter of whom contended that they never lost the rights in the first place.

Thankfully, THR shines a light on that iffy situation, claiming that provisions in Embracer's deal "allows Warners to develop features based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' books and 'The Hobbit.'" If this sounds vaguely familiar, that's because it's reminiscent of Prime Video acquiring the rights to Tolkien's books alone, particularly the appendices found at the end of "The Return of the King" that gave "The Rings of Power" showrunners the ability to fill in the blanks of previously unseen Middle-earth history. For our current purposes, this suggests that fans can expect Warner Bros. to bring brand-new material to the big screen ... though THR hints at the idea that "big guns" like the most identifiable heroes from the Fellowship — think Aragorn, Gandalf, and all the rest — may be on the table.

WB is also releasing an anime feature called "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" in theaters in 2024, so it's possible these newly announced films may be animated. There's certain to be more news and speculation to come, so stay tuned to /Film for all the details.