While Amazon is hard at work on its The Lord of the Rings television series, new Amazon Studios President Jennifer Salke has provided an update on the ambitious adaptation.
“We are currently talking to writers. I have sat with three or four different groups of writers,” Salke confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. “When we announced it, many agents called and with clients and British writers have come calling. There have been a lot of informational meetings about the material and about the scope of what we can do.”
Announced in November, the multi-season project is a co-production of Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate. One of the stipulations of the licensing agreement was that Amazon needed to have the adaptation in active development within two years or the rights would revert back to the estate. With that clause in mind, Salke provided a rough estimate on when to expect the new series.
“It’ll be in production in two years; [on the air in] 2021 is the hope. But there are other people who wish it was 2020,” Salke explained.
With a rumored production budget of $1 billion, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is one of the most ambitious television projects of all time. The streaming service is looking to capitalize on prestige genre television as Game of Thrones prepares to end its popular run next year. Since its announcement, there have been rumors whether filmmaker Peter Jackson, who famously directed and co-wrote separate trilogies adapting The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is involved in Amazon’s production.
“We’re in conversations with him that I think are very amicable about how much involvement he wants and what kind. We haven’t figured out exactly what that is yet,” clarified Salke. “He may say he is involved or he’s not involved. We’re still very much in conversation with him about what kind of involvement he would propose.”
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