Given how well Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogies –– the original ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of the King’ and Hobbit-based ‘An Unexpected Journey’, ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ –– performed at both the box office and awards ceremonies for New Line Cinema and Warner Bros., it’s perhaps not a shock that parent company Warner Bros. Discovery would look to return to Middle-earth.
CEO David Zaslav announced just that at an investors call on Thursday, saying that the company has struck a new, multi-year deal with the movie rights holder to J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories.
What will the new ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies be about?
It’s very early days for this new development, so there are no details on what the movies might cover.
Warner Bros. already does have one ‘Rings’ film in production –– ‘The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’, set 183 years before the events portrayed in ‘Fellowship’ and follows the fate of the House of Helm Hammerhand, the legendary King of Rohan.
That movie, which features the voices of Brian Cox, Miranda Otto and Shaun Dooley, will be in theaters on April 12th, 2024.
Warner Bros. Pictures bosses Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy said,
“Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans. But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure.”
Lee Guinchard, CEO of Embracer Group’s operative group Freemode commented,
“Following our recent acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, we’re thrilled to embark on this new collaborative journey with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, bringing the incomparable world of J.R.R. Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways. We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”
Peter Jackson is, as of yet, not involved. He probably feels like he’s done his duty with regards to Tolkien’s work.
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What of the ‘Rings’ TV series?
This is, of course, entirely separate from Amazon’s big-budget series ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, which is set many years before the ‘Rings’ movies (even ‘Rohirrim’).
Those are produced for Prime Video and as thus, won’t crossover with the movies.
There are no details yet on when any new movie might hit theaters, but we’d be surprised if anything was ready before 2025 at the earliest.
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