The Lord of the Rings will be released in series under the name The Rings of Power. Amazon Prime Video is currently preparing a new adventure in the universe created by JRR Tolkien after having bought the rights at a golden price. If it will have no direct link with the films, it will still allow us to dive back into Middle-earth for at least five seasons. Release date, story, budget, cast, we tell you everything we know about the event production!
The Lord of the Rings will have the right to its series: The Rings of Power. Amazon has indeed signed a historic contract with the heirs of JRR Tolkien, the publisher HarpersCollins and New Line studios. The amount is $250 million. According to this contract, Amazon undertakes to produce at least 5 seasons around this series inspired by the work of JRR Tolkien, 20 years after the worldwide success of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation and ten years after The Hobbit.
What is the official name of the Lord of the Rings series?
For a long time, we called this series “The Lord of the Rings” for lack of anything else. But on January 19, 2022, Amazon finally decided to give us an official name: The Rings of Power (The Rings of Power).
This title refers to the rings given to the different races of Middle-earth by Sauron, before he forged the One Ring to control them. It was presented through a teaser video well within the theme of the forge.
What is the release date of Lord of the Rings series The Rings of Power?
The very first episode of the Lord of the Rings series will air on September 2, 2022. The date was announced in August 2021 after years of expectation. Indeed, it was in 2017 that the series was announced and it therefore takes four years of work to bring it to life, unheard of!
On which platform will The Rings of Power be broadcast?
The series will stream on Amazon Prime Video. It is indeed the firm of Jeff Bezos which acquired the rights at a high price from the heirs of Tolkien, under the nose and beard of Netflix and HBO. It’s that Amazon has put its big checkbook on the table and is planning a budget of 465 million dollars just for the first season. For comparison, the first trilogy cost less than 300 million dollars. The most expensive movie in history, namely Pirates of the Caribbean 4, cost him $410 million.
In an interview given to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Salke, director of Amazon Studios, returned to the reasons for this staggering figure: “It’s a full season of a huge series that builds a whole universe”, she explains. “The figure makes for a sexy title or a crazy title that is fun to click on, but it really builds the infrastructure of what will carry the whole series”.
Who makes the series?
Any series must have its showrunners. It’s JD Payne and Patrick McKay who fulfill this role for Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power. These two screenwriters, who have worked together for more than twenty years, are not well known to the general public, given that they haven’t been credited on any big projects yet. They signed the scenarios of recent successes like Godzilla Vs Kong or Jungle Cruise. Amazon made the choice to bet on these two unknowns, which is reminiscent of the bet that HBO made at the end of the 2000s. The channel had given its confidence to David Benioff and DB Weiss, then unknown, for his series Game of Thrones, with the success that we know. Will this new creation centered on Middle-earth meet the same fate? Of note is Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is not involved in the project.
JA Bayona, Spanish director best known to the general public for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, is executive producer and director of the first two episodes. On the first season, Amazon also brought together a fine team of writers, many of whom worked on prestigious projects like Breaking Bad, Stranger Things or Toy Story 4.
Will we see famous actors on screen?
On the screen, Amazon has chosen to bet on a cast without any headliner. The star role (Beldor, a character created especially for the occasion) will be played by Robert Aramayo, which we have already seen briefly in Game of Thrones. It was indeed he who played young Ned Stark (character embodied in his older version by a star actor of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: Sean Bean. The world is small).
Galadriel will also be present in a younger version, played by Morfydd Clark (Cate Blanchett in the films). fun fact, an actor from the first trilogy will return for the series. This is Peter Tait. He played an orc named Shagrat in The Return of the King. We imagine logically that he will play another character here.
Note that Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in both trilogies, expressed his wish to return to the role of the magician. If his character is an immortal (Istari), his appearance on screen is complicated, since he is supposed to arrive in Middle-earth long after the events that will be described in the first season. So we have to cross it, unless the situation turns around.
What will the story of the series be?
The plot will take place during the second age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the Peter Jackson films (which take place at the end of the Third Age). It was rumored at one point that the story would center on a young Aragorn, but eventually Amazon went in a whole different, much more interesting direction.
In March 2019, the show’s official Twitter account unveiled a map of Middle-earth. Specificity compared to the map taken from the films: it includes the island of Nùmenor, which speaks volumes to Tolkien fans.
Equivalent of Atlantis in Tolkien’s universe, Nùmenor is an island where lives a race of men called Nùmenoreans, endowed with a longer life than normal. Aragorn is a descendant of this line. The mouth of Sauron, which we see at the end of The Return of the King, is him one of the Númenoreans perverted by the lord of darkness and made immortal.
The tweet that introduces the map is accompanied by a well-known text:
One Ring to rule them all
A Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
On January 13, 2021, Amazon delivered a first official synopsis. If it remains quite nebulous on the scenario, we know that a big bad guy will come back (Sauron?) and that we will see places in Middle-earth such as the Misty Mountains, Lindon or Nùmenor. Here it is :
“The upcoming Amazon Studio series brings to the screen for the first time the heroic legends of fables from the Second Age of Middle-earth history. This dramaturgical epic takes place thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
“The plot will take viewers to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms marched to glory before falling to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by a thread. thinner than ever, as the greatest villains to ever come out of Tolkien’s pen threaten to plunge the world into darkness.”
“The series, whose plot begins in a time of relative peace, follows a cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the resurgence of Evil in Middle-earth.”
“From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the Elvish capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking charm of the island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will forge a legacy that will live on long after they are gone.”
On January 19, 2022, the two showrunners confirmed what the fans assumed: The Rings of Power will focus on the creation of the Rings of Power, about the fall of Valinor and about the last alliance of elves and men against Sauron. An episode that we have already seen in the introduction of the film The Fellowship of the Ring.
Finally, the first image published by Amazon shows the continent of Valinor, recognizable by the two trees in the background. This visual thus gives us very important information: we will have the right to flashbacks located in the First Age, or even before. Indeed, the two trees no longer exist in the second age, destroyed by Morgoth.
It is not impossible that the series will take the side of the anthology, that is to say to tell a different story with new actors each season. Middle-earth would lend itself perfectly to this exercise. It’s an extremely rich universe, spanning over twelve thousand years and including hundreds and hundreds of stories to adapt or create.
Are there other projects around the license?
Amazon broke its piggy bank to obtain the rights to Lord of the Rings and intended to exploit them to the maximum. In addition to the series, an MMORPG set in Middle-earth was planned. Developed by Athlon, this major title was announced in 2019. However, the project was canceled following the takeover of the studio by Tencent. A blow for the fans who were patiently waiting for it. However, it is hard to imagine Amazon not exploiting the universe on other formats and we can hope for the announcement of new projects in the coming months.
Of course, we are still relatively far from the release of the series. But we’ll be updating this file regularly with all the information we have about the Lord of the Rings series. What do you think of Amazon’s participation in this project? Are you interested in a story set long before the movies? Share your opinion in the comments!