With 27 days until the epic release of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power excitement about the upcoming series that takes place in Second Age Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is brewing.
The show is already the most expensive television series made with a $465 million price tag, it has been renewed for Season 2 in advance of its premiere, with a plan for at least five seasons. Many people are wondering if Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson will be involved in any capacity and the answer originally was yes, then nothing happened.
“They asked me if I wanted to be involved – [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I – and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,’” Jackson recalls to Scott Feinberg on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast. “So, they said, ‘As soon as we get the first couple scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is fine. No complaints at all.”
I’ll be watching it,” he says. “I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”
Jackson adds Amazon is “betting the farm on Tolkien.”
Amazon responded to Jackson’s comments with the following statement: “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 the watching The Rings of Power.”
The studio has high regard for Jackson and Rings of Power showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay have privately attempted to make overtures to the filmmaker. But there were also concerns about keeping the films (which are owned by Warner Bros.) and TV show separate. In addition, J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate was against having Jackson on board since the estate had no involvement with his films and Christopher Tolkien has previously slammed the trilogy in the press as “eviscerating” his father’s books, claiming they turned his novels into action movies for young people that lack “beauty and seriousness.”
This time around, the estate is involved with the series – even paying $250 million for the rights to make the show.