J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is a much-beloved series; in fact, his entire Middle-earth works are some of the most famous novels ever written. Now, The Lord of the Rings is tapped to become the new Star Wars after a new announcement rattles fans and the Amazon giant.
The Lord of the Rings movie series began with director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), with The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), releasing over the following two years. New Line Cinema, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery, distributed the movies and has since put out The Lord of the Rings prequel movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2014), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
Related: ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Dead as Wizarding World Franchise Reportedly Ends
Last year saw some major updates for the Lord of the Rings Intellectual Property and signaled what the future could hold for Middle-earth. The Embracer Group acquired Middle-earth Enterprises last year; the deal for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit IPs was made for an undisclosed amount. Then in September, Amazon finally debuted the long-awaited The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
The Rings of Power is the most expensive television show ever made, with a reported budget of $1 billion for five seasons, and even with a mixed reception, Amazon still aims to deliver its long-term vision for its version of Middle-earth’s Second Age.
However, a returning fighter has entered the ring as Warner Bros. will make more films in The Lord of the Rings franchise. Last year, Warner Bros. Discovery’s House of the Dragon went toe-to-toe with Amazon’s The Rings of Power, and while many enjoyed the new venture to Middle-earth, comparisons were made to HBO’s adult fantasy epic. The news of more movies and a potential return from characters like Gandalf, Aragon, and Legolas (Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, and Orlando Bloom, respectively) looks set to shake things up once more.
There are reports that Warner Bros. is courting the idea of recruiting famed director Peter Jackson, who helmed the Oscar-winning trilogy, in addition to his writing partners Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh, after Amazon botched their relationship with the duo during The Rings of Power development.
This leads us to the here and now, and an insider has revealed that Warner Bros. Discovery hopes to turn The Lord of the Rings into a franchise to equal Star Wars. Via Comic Book Movie, the insider said, “Though there are no scripts yet, one insider suggests [that] Warner Bros. hopes to turn LOTR into a Star Wars-like franchise.”
While Kathleen Kennedy’s Disney-era Star Wars has left much to be admired thanks to its haphazard sequel trilogy, the synergetic TV output of the franchise has seen the galaxy far, far away expand even more. If Warner Bros. locks in the idea of a multi-platform Lord of the Rings in the Third Age, then the franchise will become even more powerful than it already is. Move over, Luke Skywalker, it’s Frodo’s turn.
Related: ‘Rings of Power’ Season 2 Promises More Faithful Story to Tolkien’s Work
Announcing new stories in Middle-earth comes at a rocky time for Warner Bros. Discovery and CEO David Zaslav. It is by no means a secret that the corporation is going through tough times with its theatrical output, with franchises like DC and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter bombing out over the last year.
The former is getting special treatment, however, as co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran look to reinvent the struggling DC Studios with a new streamlined approach. For Harry Potter, though, it seems Warner Bros. does not quite know what to do with the franchise after the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), failed to attract audiences to movie theaters.
Do you think Peter Jackson will return for the new Lord of the Rings films? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!