back to article Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings could be on its way to the small screen. Deadline reports that rights to the seminal trilogy is being shopped around Hollywood, with Netflix, Amazon and HBO in rights-holders' sights. An eye-watering US200m-$250m is reportedly the price of admission. After raiding Smaug's hoard to pay for …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOTR on the Boob Tube? Somewhere, Sauron is smiling.

    1. Michael Strorm

      What a bunch of Smaug-heads.

  2. DougS Silver badge
    Trollface

    What would be the plot?

    They've beaten evil, the elves are gone, the only known dragon is dead...

    I suppose they could do a prequel, starting back when Sauron was mortal and tell the story hinted at in flashbacks of the ring's story. I wonder if Hayden Christensen is available?

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

      What, like the Silmarillion?

      And there's also all the Unfinshed/LostTales bits of rescued Tolkien that could be used...

      1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

        "the Silmarillion" is an abomination of a book beaten in shitness only by the execrable "Adventures of Tom Bombadil"

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

          If you have a copy of the Bomabdil book, slim as it is, it sells for decent money.

          On a value per unit volume basis probably one of the more valuable books I have.

        2. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

          The Silmarillion was never written with publication in mind unfortunately. It was Tolkien's own reference material for LoTR etc. Christopher Tolkien edited it intro something approaching a book and published it purely as a money making effort. It has a lot of really good story material buried in it, the siege of Gondolin, Beren and Luthein, etc.

          1. Blank Reg

            Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

            I'd love to see the Silmarillion done right, but it would take many seasons and some awesomely good script writers that love the source material, and those are extremely scarce.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

            The Silmarillion was never written with publication in mind

            Given that the first attempt to publish it was during Tolkiens lifetime I somewho doubt that - especially as he himself sent it to the publisher (who rejected it) just after the Hobbit had become popular..

            It's true that it was finally published after he died but he had tried to get it published before he wrote LOTR.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I suppose they could do a prequel,

        What, like the Silmarillion?

        Enough stuff in there for at least a couple of series..

        (Even more wierd - I found myself explaining the history of Galadriel and the Silmarils to my wife when we were walking the dog a couple of days ago.. got a few funny looks from passers-by)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "when Sauron was mortal "

      Isn't Sauron one of the Maiar? If so he was never mortal.

      So sad anyway to see the heirs of Tolkien trying to squeeze any dime they can from his work... and given the level of actual scriptwriters, I'm really afraid how low they could bring it...

      1. joeldillon

        Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

        You're thinking of his former boss, Morgoth.

        1. S4qFBxkFFg
          Headmaster

          Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

          "back when Sauron was mortal"

          "Isn't Sauron one of the Maiar? If so he was never mortal."

          "You're thinking of his former boss, Morgoth."

          Neither are, or were, mortal - both were "Ainur", the next level down from Eru Ilúvatar (the only "real" god in Tolkien's universe). The more powerful ones were called Valar, the lesser were called Maiar.

          Sauron did actually "die" physically at least three times though...

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

            > Sauron did actually "die" physically at least three times though...

            Also, he did not die in the end of LOTR, either. At one point Gandalf notes that destroying the Ring causes him to diminish so that cannot be foreseen when he will rise again. But he said nothing about Sauron dying off completely (and he should know, being one of the Maiar himself).

            In fact, this gives an opening for the new TV series: Sauron starting to build a new dark empire in the present...

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

              >At one point Gandalf notes that destroying the Ring causes him to diminish so that cannot be foreseen when he will rise again.

              And he will rise bigly.

            2. Blank Reg

              Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

              Set in present day could work. The explosion at the end TROTK probably gave him a permanent orange tan, so it fits right in with current events :)

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

              "But he said nothing about Sauron dying off completely (and he should know, being one of the Maiar himself)."

              It's not quite as simple as that because, for the Maiar, dying on Arda doesn't mean the end of their existence, or "dying off completely". Gandalf did actually die on Arda after his battle with the Balrog but was "sent back" (to Arda) by the Ainur and this implies that Sauron too could similarly be killed and no longer exist on Arda. However, if Sauron was killed then Melko/Melkor, also being one of the Ainur, could presumably send him back too.

              1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

                Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

                Poor old Melkor/Morgoth had his feet hacked off and was exiled into some kind of abyssal alternate dimension at the end of The Silmarillion/the First Age if I recall my reading correctly. So he's not in a position to ressurect Sauron.

                I think in the books , Sauron survived the destruction of the ring, but he was reduced to some very minor spirit mornfully haunting some dark nook in the mountains somewhere.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

          Nope, Sauron was one of the second rank immortals. Morgoth was essentially Lucifer, one of the first rank.

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

        So sad anyway to see the heirs of Tolkien trying to squeeze any dime they can from his work..

        True. As the owners of the source material they must have got a fair chunk of that 3 billion. + hobbit money

        1. Ochib

          Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

          Collectively, the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films have grossed close to $6 billion at the worldwide box office, however the deal with the Tolkien estate was for points on the net and the famous "Hollywood accounting" meant that the film has not made a profit. The Estate had to sue the production company for damages.

        2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

          True. As the owners of the source material they must have got a fair chunk of that 3 billion. + hobbit money

          You've obviously never encountered Hollywood accounting! They completely outdo the Mob when it comes to laundering and hiding money. And they do it in full view which beats anything read in the Panama and Paradise Papers.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

        Isn't Sauron one of the Maiar

        Yes. His boss was one of the Vala (think - minor deities) whereas the Maia were more like angels.

        Essentially unkillable - but banishable. Which is what happens to Sauron. Morgoth himself is trapped in Valinor until the end of time.

    3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Flame

      @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

      I can write a can't-miss treatment where a beautiful platinum blonde princess with a fabulously elaborate hairdo brings baby dragons back to life through an elaborate ceremony that involves a bonfire fueled by chopped-up Ents! I'm thinking serious crossover potential here! KA-CHING!!!!

      Tell you what, I will give you an EP (executive producer) credit! Have your people call my people!!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

        How much sex are you planning to crowbar into your excellent new series?

        Are we talking a few longing gazes and chase kisses, or are we getting down to some seriously hot hobbit-on-hobbit action?

        There's all sorts of opportunities for a bit of S&M. Tolkein is always talking about the whips of Sauron.

        And what does Radagast want all those animals for anyway?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

            Who's going to be the love-interest for Treebeard? That's what I want to know.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who's going to be the love-interest for Treebeard?

              Sadly, nobody knows where the ent-wives went. There might be a good "search for love" romantic weepie in it, I suppose...

            2. myhandler

              Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

              Pussy Willow surely?

            3. Rattus Rattus

              Re: love-interest for Treebeard

              Well the Entwives are long gone. Are there any Entmistresses?

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Coat

                Re: love-interest for Treebeard

                Well the Entwives are long gone. Are there any Entmistresses?

                If not, what about Enthookers?

                As the Ents have perfected a drink that will make your extremities grow - they can obviously fund their sex and drugs lifestyle by selling penis enlargement pills online. Side effects: When drunk, may cause a stiff neck...

                JRR said that Merry and Pippin had got taller, he was perhaps too polite to mention any other effects. OK, I'll get my coat then - the long, dirty mac, obviously.

            4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

              Who's going to be the love-interest for Treebeard?

              Someone utterly unobtainable (the Entwives left Middle Earth a long time before the LOTR period..)

        2. Ralph B

          Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

          Add another popular franchise cross-over and you could have plucky wizard hobbit, Hairy Botty, who's busy destroying whore-crotches though all of Littlefinger's knocking shops in the Shire ...

        3. Blank Reg

          Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

          Maybe if there is some dwarf on dwarf sex then we can figure out which ones are female :)

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: What would be the plot?

      The extended cut of the TV show will probably just be the hobbits farming or eating for 6 hours...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TV show will probably just be the hobbits farming or eating for 6 hours...

        I can envisage the spin-offs on the minor channels now: e.g. "Hobbit vs Food"

        1. Valerion

          Hobbits vs Food

          "If you're looking for the best second breakfast, look no further than the Prancing Pony. And if it's beer you're after - in here it comes in PINTS".

        2. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: TV show will probably just be the hobbits farming or eating for 6 hours...

          "Hobbit vs Food"

          I'd advise you to hedge your bets - how about an "Elves vs. Vampires" crossover...? The erotic potential alone is off the charts, not to even mention the foreseeable size of the YA fanbase...

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: TV show will probably just be the hobbits farming or eating for 6 hours...

            Dropbear,

            You sir, are a genius.

            An evil genius, mind.

    5. Rattus Rattus

      Re: What would be the plot?

      A series focusing on the fall on Númenor and the beginning of the Second Age could be interesting. So could many of the individual stories in the Silmarillion.

  3. Sanguma

    Scouring of the Shire

    I imagine the Scouring of the Shire would make quite interesting filming. It could be sold to the film producers as Tolkien's anti-Socialist rant, which it to some degree is - though in the context of its own times it's more an anti-Marxist rant - and equally successfully sold to the masses as Tolkien's anti-1% rant, which it also is. Dobre chut!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scouring of the Shire

      I imagine the Scouring of the Shire would make quite interesting filming.

      A notable omission of the otherwise very impressive films. But I doubt that the TV show will do that. It will be a shameless cash-in, formulated to excrete whole "seasons" of glossy, fomulaic boxed set productions that s*** on Tolkien's legacy. Special effects will be good, but if there's an ounce of merit amongst the tonnes of Hollywood ordure I'll be amazed.

      Whoever holds and is selling the rights ought to be tied to a large rune stone and thrown into some nice deep water.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Scouring of the Shire

        >> glossy, fomulaic boxed set productions

        I know I'm risking a stack of downvotes but that sounds a lot like the films!

        I have a horrible image on one 40 minute episode devoted entirely to one long-winded speech.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Scouring of the Shire

          "I have a horrible image on one 40 minute episode devoted entirely to one long-winded speech."

          ... rather like the way I wondered how they could spin the Hobbit out into 3 films only to realize about 10 minutes into the first film that it was because, depressingly, they'd left all the songs in

          1. AMBxx Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Scouring of the Shire

            I'm more fortunate - my wife is incredibly intolerant of long-winded films. Only lasted 20 minutes or so of the first film. Didn't bother beyond that.

            On the plus side, I only watched 15 minutes of the first Harry Potter film and 30 minutes of Mamma Mia.

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: Scouring of the Shire

              Gee, you must _love_ Tarkovsky...

    2. Avatar of They Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Scouring of the Shire

      Not sure on your logic. Tolkien was against technology and the rise of technology, hence Saruman was breeding better warriors and using things like crossbows instead of bows. The shire was a comment on how technology was ruining the way things used to be. If I remember his autobiography correctly, been a few years since I read it.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Scouring of the Shire

        The Scouring of the Shire always struck me as a critique of the industrial revolution (dark satanic mills). It was echoed in Danny Boyle's 2012 Olympic opening ceremony (green Teletubby land gives way to smoke belching chimneys)

        1. Benchops

          Re: Scouring of the Shire

          The Scouring of the Shire was indeed Tolkien's commentary on the industrial revolution. He grew up in countryside in the Black Country at the beginning of the 20th century (quite well into the industrial revolution). Quite a lot of his inspiration for The Shire came from there (according to his biography -- also some years since I read it)!

          1. Ochib

            Re: Scouring of the Shire

            As someone who lives near to Sarehole Mill, and just down the road from Tolkien's family house, live no were near the "Black Country" I live in Birmingham and am not a Yam-Yam

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