Amazon announced today that it has brought JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4, Jungle Cruise) on board as The Lord of the Rings writers. Amazon hopes to have the project ready for a debut by 2021.
“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity,” Payne and McKay said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”
Amazon announced last year that it had acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the celebrated fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment. The upcoming Amazon Prime Original will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “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.”
Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.
It is not known if The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies director, Peter Jackson, will have any role in the series.
In other streaming news, it was also announced that Amazon Studios has bought the rights to a mysterious new series from Avengers and Captain America directors the Russo Brothers.
Amazon described it as follows: “The origin mothership series will function as a fire-starter to ignite the creation of multiple original local language and local production series. All of the local series are meant to enhance the entire entertainment experience and will be available for the viewer to deep dive into an imagined layered world.
“The Russo Brothers have impacted the pop culture barometer of creative excellence with their vision for both Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War. They brought a level of scale and execution to those films that has raised the bar for audiences everywhere and we can’t wait for them to do the same for us on this project for our Amazon Prime Customer. We are thrilled to be working with Joe and Anthony Russo and their AGBO Studios as they build this incredible, multifaceted, international franchise.”