Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:26 am

We all know there's only one way this can go




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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by David H on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:49 am


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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:37 am

In all seriousness I would love for somebody to take Helge Fauskanger's ideas for a Númenor movie and run with it. That shit was wild to read for the first time back in c. 2007 (geez pale) even though the treatment was never finished. And he was totally right about The Hobbit not being a good basis for a prequel to PJ's LOTR. Razz Not that I expect this to happen but I think it's an idea with a lot of promise, especially since it draws on a lot of material from UT and HoMe to flesh out the story, though inevitably it still shades into fanfiction territory.

http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/num-intro.htm

That'd be dependent on the rights to Tolkien's posthumous works being made available of course.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:00 am

Mm.. this looks interesting.


Anyway, Norc seems enthusiastic about the news!

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:30 am

According to Deadline's anonymous sources (who seem to have been fairly reliable so far, though there's no way to know if it's the same people each time) PJ has not been contacted by Amazon, so it seems likely to me that they are seeking to chart their own course independent of the previous movies. Which TBH is more interesting to me than just coloring in the corners of what PJ already did, though of course that doesn't necessarily mean the show will be a stickler for book faithfulness.

http://deadline.com/2017/11/lord-of-the-rings-amazon-peter-jackson-no-call-jeff-bezos-1202207331/
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:14 pm

I like the Westernesse idea. Taking it from before the fall to the establishment of Gondor could easily be a full season or more. Filling in bits of Gondorian history is ample for further seasons.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 pm

Would any of that really be worthy of a tv series? I feel like footnotes are footnotes for a reason.

There's definitely a reason why more people read LOTR than TS.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:53 pm

but it gets expanded out in flim treatment. Just like everything based on mythology and legend is. This puts greater burden on the screenwriters, but also more room to choose dramatic treatment that may be more suitable for the screen without violating the original text.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Elthir on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:07 pm

More grey horses wearing white costumes.

When will it end.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:40 pm

malickfan wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:
There's been an awakening...have you felt it?

No, but I'm Pretty sure I just heard Petty explode in a buckie induced rage of shock Laughing

I'm assuming this will increase forum traffic though...


Laughing

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:45 pm

malickfan wrote:
Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Er, what?

 yeah me too, if its set before LOTR its not actually LOTR is it? its something else, and the Quest wont figure I presume so what kind of dogs dinner is it. Shocked

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by TranshumanAngel on Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 pm

Eldorion wrote:In all seriousness I would love for somebody to take Helge Fauskanger's ideas for a Númenor movie and run with it.

Ahhh, I remember reading this way back when too. How nostalgic Razz Yeah I second your suggestion that someone pick up on this and make a film out of it. If only...
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Well, this is very interesting Voronwë_the_Faithful (a.k.a Douglas C Kane http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Douglas_C._Kane) just pointed out on TORn that Christopher Tolkien apparently resigned as director of the Tolkien Estate back in August!

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07842430/filing-history

Very surprised this hadn't be announced or leaked earlier.

I'm wondering...why now? Christopher Tolkien is 93 this November so I'd have assumed if he wanted too retire because of his age he would have already done so I assumed he was in the job for life, perhaps he feels with the publication of Beren and Luthien and the lawsuit settled his job is now done and he should step aside for the next generation...I'd hate to think the Tolkien family went against his or father's wishes but perhaps he was actually involved in this decision to do a TV series as his final act?

Who do we think will succeed him? Adam or Simon Tolkien perhaps? Presumably Christopher Tolkien is still acting as his father's literary executor (though I'm not sure how much unpublished writing there still is...) so would still have some say in this TV series, whoever takes over as head of the estate will be a very different position to Christopher back in the 1970's...

Raises the question if Christopher Tolkien would entrust the copyright to his various books to the successor...? Could a Silmarillion adaptation actually happen?

Shocked


Last edited by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:05 pm

My understanding was that Simon Tolkien had little if anything to do with the Estate and that Adam Tolkien was the likely "heir" insofar as any one member of the family might take a leading role (though it's not like the Estate and Trust were ever a one man show), but a lot of what I thought I understood about the Estate seems to have quietly changed over the past few months so I got nothin'.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:13 pm

Eldorion wrote:My understanding was that Simon Tolkien had little if anything to do with the Estate and that Adam Tolkien was the likely "heir" insofar as any one member of the family might take a leading role (though it's not like the Estate and Trust were ever a one man show), but a lot of what I thought I understood about the Estate seems to have quietly changed over the past few months so I got nothin'.

The more interesting thing is whether Christopher Tolkien has also retired as literary executor and whether the successor will share duties with the new head of the Estate or remain one person?

I believe Adam Tolkien assisted his father with some of the editorial stuff and foreign translations of some of the posthumous books (he did a few interviews to publize The Children of Hurin) but he doesn't have the same sort of academic background, Simon Tolkien is s trained barrister and author though, the former seems the most likely candidate to succeed Christopher Tolkien, but as for literary executor (there's still lots of unpublished material, though little of it is related to Middle-earth) could they appoint someone from outside the family this time?

scratch study

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:14 pm

Eldorion wrote:We all know there's only one way this can go




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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:21 pm

I'm not only baffled and surprised this is happening, I'm surprised I'm not more excited/annoyed, thinking back to how emotionally involved I was with The Hobbit films, it's weird to realize just how indifferent I am to this announcement, did Azog The Fork Monster really kill my fandom that much?

Evidently I've grown even more cynical or finally started to mature (though some might argue turning cynical is part of the ageing process anyway...)

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:24 pm

So I glanced over the second Variety piece again trying to find something else and they've quietly edited it to add this statement:

The Amazon deal does not cover “The Silmarillion,” the third major work taking place in Tolkein’s Middle Earth and adjacent worlds, published after the author’s death.

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-amazon-1202613609/
Compare to the original >here<

So it seems like Tolkien's posthumous works remain off-limits (for now anyway).
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 pm

Eldorion wrote:So I glanced over the second Variety piece again trying to find something else and they've quietly edited it to add this statement:

The Amazon deal does not cover “The Silmarillion,” the third major work taking place in Tolkein’s Middle Earth and adjacent worlds, published after the author’s death.

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-amazon-1202613609/
Compare to the original >here<

So that's that.

It doesn't cover The Silmarillion for now, nothing stopping the Estate licensing the rights if the first series is a hit...depending on Christopher Tolkien's final instructions I guess.
confused Shrugging

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:39 pm

Yeah, I ain't gonna try to predict the future.

I do take some small solace in seeing (apparent) confirmation that my hunch about Amazon not having the rights to the Silm since they didn't mention it in the press release was correct. One small example of something that actually is what it seemed. Razz

Perhaps interesting to note that Amazon does not appear to have acquired any rights to The Hobbit either, but that would be pretty superfluous to the goal of making a new epic Middle-earth epic set in some hitherto unexplored (on screen) part of the Third Age.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:49 pm

Eldorion wrote:

Perhaps interesting to note that Amazon does not appear to have acquired any rights to The Hobbit either, but that would be pretty superfluous to the goal of making a new epic Middle-earth epic set in some hitherto unexplored (on screen) part of the Third Age.

Were TV rights to The Hobbit ever actually sold? From what i read on TORn earlier the 1969 agreement only allowed an option to later purchase TV rights to LOTR I think (I've long since given up trying to make sense of all this legal stuff...)

If PJ can stretch The Hobbit into 3 films, I wouldn't put it past Amazon to try and stretch it into 3 TV series should they ever aquire the rights...

For a smaller scale, more innocent story Jackson certainly didn't shy away from the epic...

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:00 am

malickfan wrote:Were TV rights to The Hobbit ever actually sold? From what i read on TORn earlier the 1969 agreement only allowed an option to later purchase TV rights to LOTR I think (I've long since given up trying to make sense of all this legal stuff...)

According to the documents Doug Kane posted excerpts from, the TV rights to TH were in the same grey area as LOTR where they hadn't been sold but the Saul Zaentz Company had an option to buy them for chump change within five years of the most recent Middle-earth movie release. What seems to have happened is that SZC gave up this option for LOTR as part of the settlement, and so it would stand to reason that they did the same with the TH rights. If that is the case, then the TV (but not film!) adaptation rights for TH would currently be held by the Estate and not licensed out to anyone, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

If PJ can stretch The Hobbit into 3 films, I wouldn't put it past Amazon to try and stretch it into 3 TV series should they ever aquire the rights...

For a smaller scale, more innocent story Jackson certainly didn't shy away from the epic...

While I will most likely find plenty to criticize in the TV series, I hope that they will at least find their own distinct ways to both succeed and fail rather than following in Jackson's footsteps to closely. Razz
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:11 am

The plot thickens! Or, rather, more of the plot is slowly revealed!

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:16 am

So in terms of trying to figure out what the subject of the series is, we basically have three clues (unless I'm missing something obvious). First, that the source material (such as it is) will be drawn solely from LOTR and the Appendices. Second, that Amazon intends for the new show to be a fantasy epic. And third, we have this snippet from the press release:

“Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.

Right off the bat this eliminates one  of the more plausible-sounding possibilities: it's not gonna be a "War in the North" miniseries showing what was happening in the Northern theatre of the War of the Ring. "Preceding FOTR" is of course an extremely vague descriptor. Almost the entire recorded history of Middle-earth took place before FOTR. There is (was?) an argument making the rounds at one point that an enterprising movie studio could make a First Age movie without the rights to The Silmarillion just using what's in the LOTR Appendices and, I guess, some of the poems? I think this is ridiculous on the face of it and with the Estate being involved (man, it still feels weird to say that) I can't imagine anyone wanting to engage in rules-lawyering about how much they can read into the handful of references to Fëanor or whatever. So I'm gonna discount the idea of any sort of First Age adaptation at this point.

The Second Age is not that much better. Most of the Age consisted of the "dark years" in Middle-earth and I don't want to get side-tracked by a tangent about Lore or fictional historiography so let's just say that they're poorly recorded and there is very little material to use for the basis of a new series. Because we (almost certainly) have to ignore everything in UT, the only real possibility is the Downfall of Númenor and the War of the Last Alliance, which could theoretically make for a nice companion piece of new miniseries. But the vast majority of the material on this subject is off-limits, and Amazon trying to write their own elaboration of the tale based on the descriptions in the Appendices seems doomed to end in a legal quagmire, which again given the level of cooperation would seem to be a weird course to take. Anyway, that's pretty much it for the Second Age. Celebrimbor and the War of the Elves and Sauron aren't even mentioned in Appendix A, and the Second Age section of Appendix B (The Tale of Years) is exceedingly brief. So there's really nothing to work with there.

So that leaves the Third Age. Here we're in luck, because the bulk of the information we have about the Third Age is found in LOTR itself, especially Appendices A and B. There is a Third Age section in UT ("The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", "Cirion and Eorl", "The Quest of Erebor", "The Hunt for the Ring", and "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"); the fuller accounts in there seem to be off-limits, but the majority of those stories don't really fit the bill for what Amazon seems to be looking for anyway. A good screenwriter could potentially craft a memorable story (dunno if I'd be too generous with the word "epic") about Eorl the Young and the founding of Rohan, but as with the Downfall this is an area where I feel like trying to adapt what's in LOTR is too fraught with potential legal trouble. Other significant events of Third Age history include the Kin-strife in Gondor, the wars with the Wainriders (also described in "Cirion and Eorl" though), the wars between Angmar and the successor kingdoms of Arnor, the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, the Long Winter (coordinated invasion of Gondor and Rohan by Dunlendings, Easterlings, Haradrim, and Corsairs that coincided with one of the most severe winters recorded in the Third Age; Helm Hammerhand features here), and so on. There have been several video games focusing on the Witch-king so it's tempting to see Angmar as a possibility here.

All that said, I don't really expect them to go the historical route for a couple reasons. For one, Amazon dropped a shitload of money on this project because of the name recognition, and making a series with Eärnur of Gondor as the protagonist (guardiansofthegalaxywho.gif) seems like a poor way to capitalize on that. You could find ways to plausibly insert Gandalf and perhaps Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman into some of the above-listed hypothetical Third Age historical dramas, but it'd be an awkward setup in many cases. You could theoretically have some sort of "Travels of Gandalf" series as he wanders around in the mid-Third Age, maybe covering one of the times when he infiltrates Dol Guldur, but that seems (to me) like something that could get lost in the weeds really fast. And the further back you go, the more differences to the setting there will be, which makes it less recognizable to casual fans. Sure, there will be some people who geek out over noticing all the little differences (I know I'm not the only one who used to pore over the illustrations in Weapons and Warfare to see all the changes from Second Age Gondorian armor to its Third Age descendant forms), but I don't think there are enough people who get passionate about that level of detail to justify spending the better part of half a billion dollars on a TV show aimed primarily at them.

So to jump back to where we started, I'm inclined to interpret the phrase "preceding FOTR" at pretty much face value. I don't think it's a mistake or coincidence that they namechecked Fellowship specifically instead of LOTR as a whole. I expect that the spin-off will focus on notable characters from the books who the majority of the audience will already be familiar with, going on quests or otherwise doing things that ultimately put them on the path towards whatever their starting point was in FOTR when the Hobbits first meet them. (I do not think the show will be about Hobbits.) There are a number of possibilities here. We've already seen young Legolas in The Hobbit films so he might not count as "unexplored", but there's more he could do. You could depict a younger Denethor, Boromir, Faramir, Theoden, or Theodred if you wanted to have more political and military aspects to the story (especially in light of the success of GOT). You could have Gandalf or Gollum as they wander around Middle-earth. But there is, of course, one character who audiences know better than almost any other, who visits numerous locations known to readers of the books and viewers of the films, and whose story can intersect with literally every one of the characters mentioned in this paragraph with little to no tweaking of Tolkien's own account. And while said account is fairly short, it's still significantly more than almost any other character has over the same time period.

All of which is just to take an obscenely long time to restate what bungo said on the previous page:

bungobaggins wrote:The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Strider

Barf.

Is it extremely obvious? Yes. Is it likely to lose Amazon hundreds of millions of dollars? Not as much as many other possibilities. So strap in guys. As Ron Paul would say...



...and you know what a series starring young, bishie Aragorn means:



The LOTR mpreg revival is officially in full swing! cheers :carrot: Cheerleader :carrot: cheers





What, were you thinking of something different?
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:43 am

Sofa

Of course that exists.

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