It is no secret that Amazon Studios has already poured a lot into the upcoming Lord of the Rings series, so much so that the scale of the show is almost unquestionable; not only has the studio allotted $1 billion to the production of the series, but it has also committed to multiple seasons. As for the length of those seasons, retired professor and Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey may have the answer.
Shippey, who was brought on to the Lord of the Rings series as a creative consultant, told the German-language fansite Tolkien Gesell-Schaft that the show is still very much in the early stages of development and that, "there’s supposed to be 20 episodes for the first season."
The interview also contained several interesting details about the amount of freedom Amazon has in regards to the world it is building with the show. The series will take place during the Second Age, which has been described to some extent but is largely unexplored. "Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something [...] very few details are known about this time span," Shippey said, adding that "The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered," which means, "Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same."
For the most part, the series is shrouded in secrecy and few details have been released, save for a vague outline of its setting and the name of one of its characters, Tyra.
It has been reported that the series will likely air in 2021.
(via Winter is Coming)