Wednesday, November 8, 2017

LOTR again?

The Times of London reports that another film iteration of The Lord of the Rings may come to cable:
In 1969 JRR Tolkien sold the film rights to his Lord of the Rings fantasy novel for £100,000 to help settle a tax bill.

It meant his family never fully benefited from the astonishing success of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, which generated more than £2 billion at the global box office. ....

Now, however, they [are in] negotiations with Amazon and Netflix for a television version of Lord of the Rings which — if it sees the light of day — would be one of the most expensive productions of all time. Likely beneficiaries include Tolkien’s two surviving children: a son, 92, and daughter, 88.

Reports in the US suggest that the Tolkien estate is quoting the streaming companies between $200 million and $250 million for the rights to bring Middle-earth to the small screen. This sum would not include the production costs or actors’ fees, which are likely to top $100 million per series, according to industry insiders.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, has taken the highly unusual step of becoming personally involved in the negotiations, according to Variety, the Hollywood trade paper. Bezos is a fan of fantasy fiction and is said to have instructed his Amazon Studios executives to find a Game of Thrones-style blockbuster. ....
This could be very good. The time that could be devoted to the story would allow for more character development and also could include more of the story. With luck they might avoid some of Jackson's more cartoonish errors — especially his portrayal of dwarves.  If produced like Thrones it would involve several seasons of multiple episodes each.