Plans for the new series were announced by Amazon Studios on Monday with U.S. entertainment trade website Deadline quoted as saying it understands that the deal is "dwarfing any TV series pact to date with a whopping price tag attached".
Amazon Studios will produce the original series, which the company said will "explore new storylines" preceding the Tolkien novels. Peter Jackson's prequel trilogy of films based on The Hobbit already attempted to flesh out this territory a bit, but Tolkien's world is vast, and there are many avenues to pursue. The deal also leaves open the possibility of a spin-off series down the line, too. That leaves two options: Amazon could plumb the depths of the appendices of The Return of the King, potentially detailing the early romance of Aragorn and Arwen, the creation of the Rings of Power and the history of the line of kings from which Aragorn is descended. There's lots of untapped story there, much of which were published posthumously by Tolkien's son Christopher.
The final part of that collection is called "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", which deal with the build up to the events of The Lord of the Rings novels.
The production budget will likely add another $100-$150 million a season - but Amazon is seen as having deep pockets, as chairman Jeff Bezos has challenged his creative teams to come up with a prestigious fantasy series to rival "Game Of Thrones".
Variety is reporting that Amazon Studios has officially ordered the Lord of the Rings TV show to series with a multi-season commitment. A recent video game release, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, took this approach in exploring the story of a ranger working as an insurgent of sorts in Mordor.
What are your hopes for the LOTR series on Amazon?