THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy Was Nearly Remade As A TV Series, Marvel-Style, Before THE RINGS OF POWER

Before Amazon forged ahead with The Rings of Power, HBO looked set to remake Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies as a TV series, while Netflix considered taking an MCU-style approach to Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the most expensive TV show ever made, no great surprise when Amazon is hoping this can be Prime Video's The Mandalorian or Stranger Things.

It also probably won't shock you to learn that the opportunity to bring the J.R.R. Tolkien franchise to the small screen was one many streamers were interested in. However, they didn't all have the best ideas for the beloved property.

The Hollywood Reporter explains that it was in 2017 that the Tolkein estate decided to entertain proposals for a Lord of the Rings TV show, the perfect time when everyone was looking to launch "the next Game of Thrones." Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos is a big Tolkien fan, so made it a top priority, though he still had to compete with pitches made by rival studios. 

HBO, for example, suggested retelling Middle-earth's "Third Age." In other words, they were looking to essentially remake Peter Jackson's movie trilogy, an approach that we're sure would have proven divisive. There are members of the Tolkien estate who didn't like Jackson's vision, but they weren't looking to retread old ground. 

Netflix, meanwhile, suggested making several shows, such as standalone series revolving around characters like Gandalf and Aragorn. One insider says, "They took the Marvel approach, and that completely freaked out the estate."

Ultimately, it was Amazon that won the day. They vowed to do something new and had the money to woo Tolkien's family. That would eventually lead to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a show that's been a hit both critically and in terms of viewership (it's reportedly been beating House of the Dragon, for example). 

It's always fun to think about what might have been, though it does feel like the right decision was made here. Recently, there have been rumblings about new movies set in Middle-earth, though only time will tell whether they too come to fruition. 

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