One ring to rule them all — again. More than 20 years after The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is getting another adaptation.
Unlike Peter Jackson‘s film trilogy, however, the latest take on the beloved fantasy series will be coming to TV rather than the big screen. Amazon is behind the upcoming TV show, which is set to become the most expensive series ever made, possibly exceeding $1 billion in production costs.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first season alone had a $465 million budget, and Amazon has already renewed the series for second season. (For comparison, the six-episode final season of Game of Thrones reportedly cost about $15 million per installment.)
While the show’s budget means it will likely match the epic scale of Jackson’s trilogy, the Oscar-winning director is not attached to the Amazon project in any way. “I’m not involved at all in the Lord of the Rings series,” he told the French outlet Allocine in June 2018. “I understand how my name could come up, but there is nothing happening with me on this project.”
Jackson’s absence may be sad news for some fans, but there’s plenty of exceptional talent involved with the series. J.A. Bayona, who directed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is set to helm the first two episodes of the show, and Charlotte Brändström, who’s worked on Netflix’s The Witcher, has signed on to direct as well. And while few plot details about the new series have been released, an August 2021 first look photo revealed that the show’s aesthetic seems to be in line with that of the film trilogies.
As of September 2021, Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore, who wrote the scores for both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, was in talks to write the music for the new show. Though the veteran maestro has been scoring films since the 1970s, the Lord of the Rings soundtracks remain some of his best-known work.
The Grammy winner was a fan of Tolkien’s work before he took on the project, and he used the books as references while he was composing. “It was always open on my desk, and as I was creating thematic ideas and motifs for the film, I was always rereading the book,” he told Rhino Insider in April 2018. “All the time, but especially when I was scoring specific scenes. I would go back to the book and reread it to gain insight into the story.”
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