Amazon Reportedly Monopolizing ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Tolkien Fans Devastated

in Entertainment

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel (left) and Elijah Wood as Frodo (right)

Credit: New Line Cinema

Middle Earth is expanding with Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power this September, but fans are up on arms over how much of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work Amazon owns.

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: Amazon “Hard-Pressed” to Replace Iconic ‘Lord of the Rings’ Actors

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is debuting later this year, but the conglomerate just acquired the rights to The Hobbit and more of Middle Earth, going against one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s standards when protecting his stories.

The world of author J.R.R. Tolkien and his Middle Earth with Mount Doom, the Shire, and Dark Lord Sauron is one of the most beloved novels and film franchises in history, with director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy being regarded as one of the greatest sagas of all time.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: Amazon Changes Two Iconic ‘Lord of the Rings’ Characters For Good

Adding to this fantasy world this September is Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a $500 million streaming series that’s been met with mixed reviews upon its official teaser trailer:

Not many fans were enthused when Amazon announced that they would be caring for the Tolkien torch follow Peter Jackson’s Rings and The Hobbit franchise. In fact, upon unveiling new and original characters, many fans expressed their disappointment in Amazon and more, claiming that the studio will “undermine” J.R.R. Tolkien’s legacy.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
Credit: New Line Cinema

Nonetheless, Amazon just altered the future of Middle Earth after acquiring the entire film and media rights to The Hobbit, leading many to claim that Amazon is turning The Rings series, franchise, and legacy of Tolkien into a “monopoly:”

With LOTR rights now up for sale, and this MGM deal done, is there any monopolistic case law that prevents Amazon from further acquiring more rights to Middle-earth?

Following the acquisition of MGM Studios, Amazon Studios and more gained complete creative control over the film rights of The Hobbit and more of Middle Earth, opening the door for future Hobbit spin-offs and more.

Sir Ian Mckellen as Gandalf (left), Ricahrd Armitage as Thorin (middle), and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: Why Disney and Universal Haven’t Made a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Theme Park

Much like The Walt Disney Company acquiring the last bit of Marvel IPs (Deadpool, X-Men) with the purchase of 20th Century Fox, Amazon has gained near-complete control of all The Lord of the Rings media that fans enjoy today, instilling fear that streaming rights to the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy directed by Peter Jackson could change or disappear all-together.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn (far left), Sir Ian McKellan as galdalf (middle), orlando bloom as legolas (right), sean astin as samwise gamgee (bottom left), elijah wood as frodo baggins (bottom middle), and dom monaghan as merry brandybuck (bottom right)
Credit: New Line Cinema

All that’s left is more Amazon to purchase The Saul Zaentz Company, giving them complete control over all Middle Earth media that Tolkien sold initially to United Artists in 1968:

Welp. Amazon bought the entire MGM kit-and-kaboodle. Including #Hobbit distribution rights.

This is gonna get more interesting as the Saul Zaentz Company’s entire Middle-earth I.P. rights are also up for sale.

Tolkien’s estate long battled with New Line Cinema, Miramax, Disney (who almost produced The Lord of the Rings in 1997), director Peter Jackson, and Warner Brothers, ultimately resulting in Jackson reportedly being barred from creating any more live-action films of his Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: Why Disney and Universal Haven’t Made a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Theme Park

What fans should understand is that Amazon owns the entirety of The Hobbit film distribution rights, meaning that a Rings of Power spin-off Amazon series centered on the tales of Biblo Baggins and more could potentially be in the works if they acquire The Saul Zaentz Company.

More about The Rings of Power

Taking place in the episodic Second Age of Middle Earth, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power chronicles the construction of the One Ring worn by dark lord Sauron under Mount Doom:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne in the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Sophia Nomvete as Dwarven Princess Disa
Credit: Amazon

Related: Peter Jackson Sells ‘Lord of the Rings’ Studio for $1.6 Billion

The near $1 billion series is set to focus on the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the historic alliance between Elves and Men (that transcended the entire franchise), the island of Númenor/Westernesse, as well as a look into Khazad‐dûm/Moria before the dwarven kingdom fell to hoards of goblins and the deadly Balrog/Durin’s Bane.

However, unfortunately, you won’t be seeing any of legendary hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan), Bilbo Baggins (Sir Ian Holm), Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan), Pippen Took (Billy Boyd), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Saruman (Sir Christopher Lee), Gollum (Andy Serkis), and more in The Rings of Power.

Morfryyd Clark as Galadriel
Credit: Amazon

This series features a relatively unknown cast of lead and supporting actors that are set to play some of the most formative names in Elrond (Robert Aramayo, replacing Hugo Weaving), Lady Galadriel of Lothlórien (Morfydd Clark, replacing Cate Blanchett), and Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur).

New characters like Dwarven Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete), silvan elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), and Cole (Maxim Baldry) have been created specifically for the series.

Robert Arayamo as Elrond
Credit: Amazon

Showrunner Patrick McKay and writer JD Payne pen the tentative series with directors JA Bayona and Wayne Che Yip leading the Rings show set to debut on September 2, 2022.

Should Amazon be stopped from purchasing more of The Lord of the Rings? Let us know in the comments below!

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