Amazon’s LOTR prequel series has been approved by all parties for a five season commitment with a $1+ Billion budget.
This series is developed with the approval of practically everyone who has ever been involved in the original movies or the books: Author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros as well as Director Peter Jackson and publisher Harper Collins. All parties are aware of the series, all parties have agreed to let Amazon make it, and all parties in one way or another will be involved.
So because Amazon continues to use the LOTR brand in it’s press releases it has some LOTR fans confused as to what exactly the TV series will be about. It led to early confusion that Amazon was remaking the LOTR movies into a TV series. Was Amazon really going to create a similar journey that follows Frodo around Middle Earth again? No one wants to see that, and based on everything we know about the series so far, that seems highly unlikely. Amazon will likely be telling a new story set in Middle Earth. Where, when, and what characters will be involved in this series is totally and completely up to Amazon. So it stands to reason that Tolkien’s immersive and expansive world is going to expand on the streaming screen, and it will share in the same universe as the LOTR films. Another TV series is also part of the packaged deal that will include even more unexplored stories of Middle Earth based on Tolkien’s often incomplete writings.
Amazon basically has a HUGE sandbox to play and like Star Wars, they don’t necessarily have to follow everything in every novel that Tolkien has ever written. It’s a massive project that won’t take less than two years to create. Move over Game of Thrones there’s a new king to be crowned! I expect this series to be online by 2020, no earlier.