It’s been over two decades since the first instalment of Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings film franchise, and judging from the recent success of The Hobbit trilogy, we still can’t get enough of seeing J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy works brought to life — whether on the silver or small screen…
Back in November 2017, Amazon Studios won the rights to produce at least five seasons of a Lord of the Rings TV series. And given the sheer volume of material about Middle Earth that Tolkien produced during his lifetime, Amazon could approach the series from a myriad of directions…
Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series, including casting rumours, showrunner details and air-date.
As part of the reported $250 million deal that Amazon struck, production on the series needs to start within two years — and given that they signed on the dotted line back in 2017, that means it’s likely that wheels will be set in motion in 2019.
How many seasons of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will there be?
Amazon have also committed to five seasons as part of their rights deal.
What will the Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series be about?
Amazon has assured fans that it won’t tread on the film franchise’s toes, focussing instead on other, as-yet unexplored narratives and backstories from Tolkien’s work.
According to TheOneRing.net, the series’ first season will show the backstory of a character beloved by fans: Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen in the original films), a ranger otherwise known as Strider who forms part of the Fellowship of the Ring, a motley crew who band together to help Frodo Baggins return the One Ring to Mount Doom.
[BREAKING] We have confirmed from multiple sources that @AmazonStudios new billion-dollar #LOTR series will open its first season centered on a young Aragorn.
However, given that there are thousands of years of Middle Earth history for show-runners to choose from, all bets are off regarding what they might tackle for the remaining seasons.
Will Peter Jackson be showrunner for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings?
The Oscar-winning director has confirmed he won’t be involved behind-the-scenes on the new series. Speaking with French publication Allocine, he said: “I’m not involved at all in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series…I understand how my name could come up, but there is nothing happening with me on this project.”
Instead, the showrunners will be Star Trek 4 writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay. On their appointment, the pair released a joint statement stating that they were “absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew”
“We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care,” they added. “It is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”
Who’s been cast in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings?
Nothing on casting as of yet — we’ll let you know when there is.
However, Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in all six of the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films, has expressed his interest in reprising his role for the TV series — sort of. During an interview on Graham Norton’s BBC radio show back in December 2017, Norton asked whether McKellen would be annoyed to see another actor playing Gandalf.
“What do you mean, another Gandalf?,” McKellen responded, before adding: “I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked. But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old.”
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news