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Thread: Lord of the Rings TV series

  1. #1
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    This will need it's own thread soon

    TO RULE THEM ALL
    Why Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show Won’t Be the New Game of Thrones
    The streaming service is gunning for HBO’s crown.
    by JOANNA ROBINSON
    NOVEMBER 13, 2017 6:00 PM


    Left, from New Line/Everett Collection; Right, from Everett Collection

    With HBO currently in production on the final season of its juggernaut fantasy series Game of Thrones, a number of networks are hoping to be the new source for your Sunday night swords and dragons fix. HBO, for one, is hoping to retain its audiences by launching one (or more) Thrones spin-offs—but it will have to compete with Showtime’s adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Kingkiller Chronicles and, now, with Amazon’s freshly announced multi-season series set in the world of the fantasy series that most inspired George R.R. Martin (and practically every other working fantasy writer): J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

    According to an announcement Monday, “the television adaptation will explore new story lines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.” That means the events of this series will take place prior to Frodo Baggins’ journey—but there’s no word yet on whether the time period in question is pre- or post-Bilbo Baggins’ discovery of the ring in The Hobbit. Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins, clarifies that the series will “bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings,” which leaves a lot of leeway for elaborate inspired-by inventions a la the many side stories that padded out Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. In other words, this could be a by-the-book Silmarillion-esque nerdfest, or a show sure to enrage the Tolkien die-hards as much as Jackson’s invented love story between Evangeline Lilly’s elf warrior Tauriel and Aidan Turner’s dwarf Kíli.

    Speaking of Jackson’s films: the Amazon announcement makes no mention of whether there might be any crossover between them and the series. But since the production is a partnership between Amazon, the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and, crucially, New Line Cinema, the option isn’t technically off the table. It might take all of Smaug’s golden hoard to lure Cate Blanchett or Sir Ian McKellen back to play the immortal-ish characters of Galadriel or Gandalf, but never say never when it comes to movie stars and TV.

    An even less appealing approach might be the one that the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises are taking, but I won’t say the phrase “Young Gandalf” again if you won’t. Still, all the younger wizards and elves of Middle Earth can’t guarantee that this Lord of the Rings TV series will be the next Game of Thrones. For one thing, the HBO series started as a very faithful adaptation with a built-in audience of loyal book fans. Tolkien fans, still licking their wounds after the Hobbit trilogy, are likely to be very wary of another potentially less-than-faithful prequel. More importantly, most close observers of TV trends doubt there will ever be another Game of Thrones. The viewership is simply too fractured and too distracted now to allow any show, no matter the subject matter, to capture a Thrones-level audience ever again.

    But even if trends shift unexpectedly and there is another massive breakout hit, does it seem likely that the biggest show to follow Thrones will be something that so closely resembles and inspired it? That’s not, historically, how these things go. Copycat shows—if you can even call a Tolkien property a copycat of the genre it helped popularize—sometimes enjoy a measure of success, sure, but they’re rarely ever the next big thing. Just ask Lost knockoffs The Event, V, The Nine, FlashForward, and My Generation (who? exactly), which all tried and failed to ride the wave of ABC’s sci-fi desert-island success.

    Lord of the Rings absolutely has more brand recognition for audiences than any of those shows, but you don’t have to look back to discover that aping Thrones hasn’t exactly been a recipe for smash success. In the wake of Thrones mania, Starz wisely snapped another best-selling fantasy adaptation: Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. But while the 2.09 million viewers who tuned in to the recent Season 3 premiere of that show constituted a banner night for Starz, those ratings pale in comparison to the 16.5 million viewers who tuned in to the Season 7 Game of Thrones finale just a few weeks before. Starz’s American Gods, MTV’s (now Spike’s and soon to be Paramount Network’s) The Shannara Chronicles, and Syfy’s The Magicians—all also based on popular fantasy-book series—have proven to be expensive shows with an even smaller fraction of the enthusiastic Thrones audience.

    Amazon will certainly survive if it gambles on Lord of the Rings and falls short of taking the crown away from Game of Thrones. But the streaming service is no doubt banking on its foray into Middle Earth to be more than just a moderate hit. News of the Tolkien adaptation came on the same day that Ad Age published an unconfirmed report that Amazon may soon be launching a free, ad-supported version of Prime video. In other words, if users are willing to put up with commercials, they can skip the $99 annual fee that serves as a paywall for Amazon’s original and occasionally award-winning programming.

    A “freemium” platform isn’t the same as pay services like HBO Now or CBS All Access—but both of those services were launched and pushed with the enticing promise of Game of Thrones and new Star Trek episodes. If this Lord of the Rings-based show becomes must-see TV, then Amazon could safely expect to see a major swell in viewership for any theoretical new streaming platform. In the ongoing streaming wars, consider this Lord of the Rings series Amazon’s most prized weapon. But will it be enough to rule them all and bind audiences in the era of Peak TV?
    Young Gandalf...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    a prequel series

    Not the Silmarillion? Time to make this into it's own indie thread.

    Lord of the Rings TV series gets multi-season order at Amazon
    James Hibberd November 13, 2017 AT 01:21 PM EST

    Amazon has officially greenlit one show that it hopes to rule them all.

    The company has made a multi-season production commitment to a television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.

    It’s a major deal securing one of the biggest brands in pop culture for what’s likely to be one of the most expensive TV shows ever made.

    But there’s a catch, creatively speaking: The series will explore storylines set before the events in the first LOTR novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. In other words: The war to destroy the One Ring as chronicled in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films will not be told in the TV version. So this story is either set before The Hobbit or in between The Hobbit and LOTR.

    This something we’ve seen with other recent TV series when they tackle major cinematic titles with certain rights restrictions. Like how Fox’s Gotham can tell the story of young Bruce Wayne but not Batman, how FX’s Legion has avoided using the term “X-Men” even though its an X-Men project, or how Syfy’s upcoming series based on The Purge films will be set in between actual Purges.

    Amazon’s deal includes a potential addition of a spin-off series as well.

    “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,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “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.”

    There’s no cast or premiere date yet, but the series will eventually stream on Amazon Prime.

    The move by Amazon comes as HBO prepares to conclude its mammoth fantasy hit Game of Thrones, which will almost certainly premiere its final six episodes in 2019. HBO is developing multiple potential prequel series based on author George R.R. Martin’s Westerosi history, though none are guaranteed to air.

    In a way, Amazon’s LOTR project and HBO’s GoT prequels face the exact same challenge: The great high-stakes story and beloved characters that made each tale such a classic will have already been told — and both benefited from mining a fantasy author’s years of extraordinary effort producing more than a thousand pages of intricate creative storytelling. So can a network find writers who can successfully bootstrap a relatively new-ish story set in these familiar fantasy worlds that capture at least some percentage of the original work’s worldwide appeal?

    It’s a tough call as to which company has the more difficult task. For Amazon, the stakes are rather low (the company’s stock is trading at an incredible $1,138 per share). For HBO, the stakes are very high — GoT is an unprecedented massive moneymaker for the network and a creating subscription-worthy TV is its core business (while fending off the likes of Netflix and Amazon). But HBO has a distinct creative advantage in that they’re developing five potential prequels while committing to none in advance — so the network has several chances to find a story that really works before deciding on a path. This new deal struck between the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, however, locks Amazon into a multi-year series commitment without so much as a writer yet hired — that’s the type of deal that keeps a traditional network up at night though, again, Amazon can afford the write-off if it all goes south.

    Hollywood is all about world-building right now, so perhaps will be fantastic — and hopefully they will. This is what Marvel is already doing with its big screen heroes and Disney with its new Star Wars titles, after all. A series is in some respects more difficult than pulling off two-hour film, however. As a wise man once wrote: “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off…”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
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    a prequel series

    Not the Silmarillion? Time to make this into its own indie thread from the LOTR thread.

    Lord of the Rings TV series gets multi-season order at Amazon
    James Hibberd November 13, 2017 AT 01:21 PM EST

    Amazon has officially greenlit one show that it hopes to rule them all.

    The company has made a multi-season production commitment to a television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.

    It’s a major deal securing one of the biggest brands in pop culture for what’s likely to be one of the most expensive TV shows ever made.

    But there’s a catch, creatively speaking: The series will explore storylines set before the events in the first LOTR novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. In other words: The war to destroy the One Ring as chronicled in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films will not be told in the TV version. So this story is either set before The Hobbit or in between The Hobbit and LOTR.

    This something we’ve seen with other recent TV series when they tackle major cinematic titles with certain rights restrictions. Like how Fox’s Gotham can tell the story of young Bruce Wayne but not Batman, how FX’s Legion has avoided using the term “X-Men” even though its an X-Men project, or how Syfy’s upcoming series based on The Purge films will be set in between actual Purges.

    Amazon’s deal includes a potential addition of a spin-off series as well.

    “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,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “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.”

    There’s no cast or premiere date yet, but the series will eventually stream on Amazon Prime.

    The move by Amazon comes as HBO prepares to conclude its mammoth fantasy hit Game of Thrones, which will almost certainly premiere its final six episodes in 2019. HBO is developing multiple potential prequel series based on author George R.R. Martin’s Westerosi history, though none are guaranteed to air.

    In a way, Amazon’s LOTR project and HBO’s GoT prequels face the exact same challenge: The great high-stakes story and beloved characters that made each tale such a classic will have already been told — and both benefited from mining a fantasy author’s years of extraordinary effort producing more than a thousand pages of intricate creative storytelling. So can a network find writers who can successfully bootstrap a relatively new-ish story set in these familiar fantasy worlds that capture at least some percentage of the original work’s worldwide appeal?

    It’s a tough call as to which company has the more difficult task. For Amazon, the stakes are rather low (the company’s stock is trading at an incredible $1,138 per share). For HBO, the stakes are very high — GoT is an unprecedented massive moneymaker for the network and a creating subscription-worthy TV is its core business (while fending off the likes of Netflix and Amazon). But HBO has a distinct creative advantage in that they’re developing five potential prequels while committing to none in advance — so the network has several chances to find a story that really works before deciding on a path. This new deal struck between the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, however, locks Amazon into a multi-year series commitment without so much as a writer yet hired — that’s the type of deal that keeps a traditional network up at night though, again, Amazon can afford the write-off if it all goes south.

    Hollywood is all about world-building right now, so perhaps will be fantastic — and hopefully they will. This is what Marvel is already doing with its big screen heroes and Disney with its new Star Wars titles, after all. A series is in some respects more difficult than pulling off two-hour film, however. As a wise man once wrote: “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off…”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
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    2nd age

    IGN NEWS / 7 MAR 2019 10:10 AM PST
    AMAZON'S LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES CONFIRMED TO BE SET IN THE SECOND AGE

    Share. Sauron, Númenor, the War of the Last Alliance and more may be explored.
    BY COLIN STEVENS Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will officially take place in the Second Age, prior to the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    Confirmed by the show’s official Twitter account, a new post simply says “Welcome to the Second Age” with a link out to an updated map of Middle Earth. This map has been updated regularly, at first only showing geographical locations, but later including labels for locations. These developments led many fans to believe the show would take place in this little-explored Second Age of Middle Earth.

    Welcome to the Second Age: https://t.co/Tamd0oRgTw

    — The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019

    The show taking place in the Second Age means quite a bit. For starters, it’s an age that wasn’t explored much by J.R.R. Tolkien, meaning most of the stories won’t be his and will be thought up by the show’s writers - for better or for worse. Though many rumors pointed towards the show focusing on Aragorn, who lived in the Third Age, it’s possible flash backs, or flash forwards, could occur in the show.

    Many notable events happened during The Second Age, including the forging of the Rings of Power and the infamous One Ring. The Second Age ended with the scene shown at the beginning of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, depicting the War of the Last Alliance where Sauron was defeated, but the One Ring was not destroyed, giving rise to the Third Age which is largely explored in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    The latest update to the map shows the island of Númenor, which was known to be the greatest civilization of men. Considered by the Third Age to be a lost civilization, Númenor experienced a schism when much of its people stopped worshiping the god Eru Ilúvatar, and rebelled against the Valar. This ultimately resulted in the destruction of the island and death of most of the population. Its inclusion on the map suggests we may finally get to see some of that story play out.
    Sounds way outside of canon.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
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    casting call

    I'm sure many KFM forum members could qualify for this.

    Do you look like an orc? Lord of the Rings TV show desperately needs actors to play the monsters and wants people with missing teeth, wrinkles and body hair to apply
    Auckland casting agents are struggling to find flawed faces for the series
    Justin Smith, 41, believes his unique toothless grin will help to get him a part
    Casting call asks for tall and short people with 'wonderful noses' and lots of hair
    By RYAN FAHEY FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 04:08 EST, 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:31 EST, 18 December 2019

    Casting agents for the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show are in desperate need of extras to play orcs and want toothless, heavily-wrinkled and hairy people to apply.

    Two Auckland casting companies have issued appeals to fill roles for the grotesque monsters on the new Amazon Lord of the Rings series, which begins filming in 2020.

    One of the agencies turned to Facebook, where they asked for suitable applicants under 5ft or over 6ft 5ins with 'wonderful noses' and 'character faces'.

    The other was more specific in their request, asking for lots of wrinkles and 'hairy hairy people of all ages and ethnicities'.


    A file photo shows an Orc from the 2002 Lord of the Rings film, The Two Towers. One Kiwi who has jumped at the chance is Justin Smith, 41, who believes his unique appearance and lack of teeth will make him a top pick for the role

    'HAIR HAIR HAIR — if you have natural red hair, white hair, or lots and lots of freckles,' the agency added.

    The advert also welcomed 'Long Lithe dancers', 'stocky mean-looking bikers', and 'redheads all ages [sic], shapes and sizes', to apply.

    In the country of just under five million, casting companies are struggling to fill roles of the freakish J.R.R Tolkien creations and have resorted to hitting the streets to find suitably odd-looking members of the public, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    One Kiwi who has jumped at the chance, responding to an online advertisement, is Justin Smith, 41, who believes his unique appearance makes him a top pick for a role.

    'I’ve got more than missing teeth, I’ve got none,' the lorry driver, who lost his entire set in a surfing accident, told the Wall Street Journal.


    A file photo from the Return of the King, released in 2003, shows, Gothmog, a hideously disfigured Orc chieftain who leads Sauron's horde to war. Two Auckland casting companies have issued appeals to fill roles for the new Amazon Lord of the Rings series, which begins filming in 2020


    A file photo from The Return of the King shows an Orc in battle, in a scene from the film adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic. In addition to being fed for pretending to be a malevolent goblin or a homely hobbit for the day, extras in New Zealand are paid £148

    In his application, he submitted photos of his toothless grin and is waiting for a callback to audition.

    Another applicant, Nick King, from Christchurch, decided to apply after friends persuaded him that he had a 'character face'.

    King, who said he's a musician, photographer and graphic designer, added that the application process involved answering whether he could switch between accents and had sword-fighting training.

    In addition to being fed for pretending to be a malevolent goblin or a homely hobbit for the day, extras in New Zealand are paid £148. Experts say that employing people with distinguished features will save on make up costs.

    The TV series will be in the same fictional universe created by legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien, who published the series at intervals between 1954 and 1955.

    Similarly to the books, and the Peter Jackson adaptations in the early 2000s, the landscapes will be populated with horrific humanoid monsters, dwarfish citizens of mythical villages, and slender celestial elves.

    Amazon has dropped £190 million just on the rights for the upcoming series, and the details, including cast and plot, are a stone-guarded secret.

    The Lord of the Rings movie franchise, produced between 2001 and 2003, cost over £225 million and required more than 20,000 extras to populate the epic scenes.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
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    I was just wondering what's up with this...

    NEWS JANUARY 14, 2020 12:47PM PT
    ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series at Amazon Sets Main Cast
    By JOE OTTERSON
    TV Reporter
    @https://twitter.com/joeotterson


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF NEW LINE CINEMA

    Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series has officially announced its main cast.

    Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur and Nazanin Boniadi are among the series stars. Also joining the cast is Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers.

    “After undertaking an extensive global search, we are delighted finally to reveal the first group of brilliant performers who will take part in Amazon’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series,” said series showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. “These exceptionally talented women and men are more than just our actors: they are the newest members of an ever-expanding creative family that is now working tirelessly to bring Middle-earth to life anew for fans and audiences worldwide.”

    The “Lord of the Rings” series is written by Payne and Patrick McKay. In addition, “Game of Thrones” alum Bryan Cogman has signed on as a consulting producer on the project with J.A. Bayona set to direct multiple episodes. Production will begin in February.

    In addition to those previously announced, the show’s full creative team will consist of: executive producers Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, and Amazon’s former head of genre programming Sharon Tal Yguado; writer and executive producer Gennifer Hutchison; writer and executive producer Jason Cahill; writer and executive producer Justin Doble; consulting producer Stephany Folsom; producer Ron Ames; writer and co-producer Helen Shang; and writing consultant Glenise Mullins. Bayona will also executive produce along with his partner Belén Atienza.

    Little is known about the plot of the “Lord of the Rings” series beyond the fact it will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The show’s official Twitter account sent out an image of a map along with the two messages: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,” as well as “Welcome to the Second Age.” In the Tolkien mythology, the Second Age was the time in which the Rings of Power, including Sauron’s One Ring, came into existence.

    Variety exclusively reported in November 2017 that a “Lord of the Rings” series was in the works at Amazon, with the streamer announcing a multi-season production commitment shortly thereafter. The series 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.
    I know none of these people...yet.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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