Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series has a big pedigree to live up to beyond bringing the world of author J.R.R. Tolkien to life. Warner Bros.’ Lord of the Rings film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson during the mid-2000s looms large over both the fantasy genre and this upcoming series overall. The show is said to be separate from those films, though it was confirmed years ago to be using material from the films, whatever that means.
But Jackson recently told the Hollywood Reporter that he and writer-producer Fran Walsh—who wrote and produced the trilogy with Jackson, and is also his partner—were at one point asked by Amazon about the possibility of being in involved in the series. “I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,’” Jackson recalled. With the ball in Amazon’s court, the megacorporation said they would send episode scripts to the pair upon completion. But according to him, those scripts never came.
For their part, Amazon provided their own statement to The Hollywood Reporter, stating:
“In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films. We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”
Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are said to be fans of Jackson’s trilogy, and are said to have attempted to reach out to Jackson to mend things. However, the Tolkien Estate, and in particular Tolkien’s son Christopher, have made it clear in the past their dislike for Jackson’s film trilogy, and are said to have not wanted him involved with the series. Amazon spent a lot of money to get the rights of this show from the estate, and even more to make the show a reality, so it makes sense that they have to play by the estate’s rules. It’s a shame that Jackson can’t be involved, but he’s still excited to see what the show will become.
“I’ll be watching it. I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will,” said Jackson. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”
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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will release September 2 on Amazon.
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