Tolkien lives on! With the new release of The Fall of Gondolin, the massive success of the Shadow of War/Shadow of Darkness video game series, it was only a matter of time before we got more Middle Earth content. Amazon was only too happy to gobble up that fandom to help them make their Prime video streaming service legit. It’s always trailed behind Netflix and Hulu, so maybe this literary giant will give it that massive kick it’s looking for? Here are seven things we know for sure, right now, about this up-and-coming series:
1. Peter Jackson is not involved. For some, this is a good thing. Many fans think that PJ really bunged up The Hobbit trilogy by making it, well, a trilogy. There was a lot of heat for him looking for money, but listen– PJ doesn’t need that money. I think he wanted to relive the glory days of shooting the original trilogy. But I also would have watched The Hobbit happen in real time, complete with bathroom breaks. Either way, a new team is taking up the reins. Let’s hope they keep Jackson’s atmosphere and his absolutely earnest spirit of camaraderie. That’s what made LOTR so good.
2. Amazon has approved a $1 BILLION budget. That’s some big cash money. This is going to be the most expensive television program ever made.
3. Ian McKellan wants to be involved, but we don’t know if anyone else from the movies will be involved. Who else could play Gandalf? While the first season, at least, will focus on Aragorn, there’s been no word if the beautifully shaggy Viggo Mortensen will be playing him. And since it doesn’t sound like there will be any hobbits, we can’t expect Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, or Billy Boyd to be back, either. Monaghan just got picked up for the final Star Wars movie, anyways. Since the rumor is that this will take place post-Hobbit, pre-LOTR, there’s a good chance they’ll want a young Aragorn. I’m not disappointed.
4. Production begins in 2020. Which means we won’t be seeing anything until 2021 at the earliest. Let’s hope the world’s medieval/fantasy genre hype can live past the end of Game of Thrones. As the source material is less an already published novel and more Tolkien’s letters, margin scribbles, and annotations, it’s no doubt going to take time to come up with a show that’s both accurate and exciting.
5. It will be five seasons long. That’s if it doesn’t take off and the producers get greedy. Just kidding. Unlike some shows (and some films) that fans have thought stayed around far longer than needed, Amazon plans to tell a story and then GTFO. Will they stick to it? Time will tell. Maybe, like Game of Thrones, this will lead to more spin-offs, sequels and prequels.
6. Amazon fought with streaming giant, Netflix, for the rights to bring this story to life.Medieval fantasy is BIG right now (thanks to Game of Thrones), and it stands to reason that the world of Tolkien is only going to help it get bigger. With the popularity of the Shadow of War video game series, a resurgence of The Silmarillion’s popularity, and just the general fact that geek is so chic right now, it’s time for LOTR to have another heyday.
7. It won’t be based on The Silmarillion. Sorry, nerds (self-burn)! While the Silmarillion has about eight thousand stories in it that would make for great television or film, as well as far more moral ambiguity a la Game of Thrones… wait, is it too late to pitch The Silmarillion as a show? C’mon. A nerd can dream.
Love Lord of the Rings more than you love members of your own family? I know the feeling. Let the world know with an engraved AleHorn bearing one of our LOTR sigils.