the rings of power For now, it holds the title of the most expensive series in television history. A sum that rose above all for the purchase of rights and literary licenses of the source material. For now we know that Amazon Studios was the one that got the permits. But others like Netflix and HBO also tried to convince Tolkien’s heirs and failed in the process.
According to a new report published by TheHollywood Reporter, Back in 2017, the Tolkien Estate had several meetings with various interested parties for the work. Almost two years after Peter Jackson concluded his trilogy of The Hobbit on the big screen, the big TV networks wanted to make the next Game of Thrones.
A team representing HBO, one from Netflix and one from Amazon Studios presented their proposals and visions of how JRR Tolkien’s material should be brought to television. Among all the proposals, the victorious was the company of Jeff Bezos and everyone assumed that it was for a matter of money. However, new information reveals that in fact the best and juiciest offer was Netflix.
However, each company had their vision of how to adapt the story. Netflix on the one hand presented the proposal to make not one but several television series focused on various characters. A series focused on Gandalf, a drama dedicated entirely to Aragorn. “They took the Marvel approach,” said a source present at the talks, “and that completely scared the property.”
Meanwhile HBO suggested recreating the Third Age of Middle-earth. That is to say, basically redoing the history of the movies of The Lord of the rings. According to some sources, Christopher Tolkien (son of the original author) was never happy with Jackson’s adaptations. On many occasions he openly expressed that the films “gutted” his father’s books. Reason why they were not very interested in going the same way.
Finally, Amazon Studios presented itself before the Tolkien Estate without a very clear proposal, but with “the promise of a close relationship that would give the heirs a creative seat at the table so that they could protect the Tolkien legacy”. The proposal was sincere given that Jeff Bezos and his family are known to be lifelong fans of Tolkien’s writings. That is why Bezos carefully chose Sharon Tal Yguado, Roy Price and Dan Scharf as representatives of that meeting.
“It was our collective passion and our allegiance to Tolkien that really won the day,” said Amazon Studios TV co-head Vernon Sanders. Of course money was also of paramount importance. But although the exact amounts are not known, sources suggest that while Netflix’s proposal was accompanied by $250 million, Amazon’s was tens of millions less.
In the end, it seems that the Tolkien Estate made the right decision in rejecting Netflix and HBO. the rings of power in the hands of Amazon Studios it has become a hit with critics and casual viewers. Although Tolkien fans have launched (and continue) vicious attacks on the work, they consume the series nonetheless.
Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, confirms that everyone is very happy with the performance of the series. “The program is doing amazingly internationally,” she says. “So we’ve been feeling really good. Conquering the US market is just the icing on the cake.”
The second season of the rings of power is already in production. It will probably take a couple of years to get everything ready for the next one. Meanwhile, new episodes arrive on the Amazon Prime platform every Thursday.
Luis Angel H Mora My Hogwarts letter never came, so I focused my life on movies. I like to write, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and parties where I wear an astrologer. John Williams and The Killers musicalize the drama of my life.