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 …

  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
      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

            1. A K Stiles

              Re: Scouring of the Shire

              Indeed. Used to live near the bakery (patisserie?) on Sarehole Road. Kind of entirely the wrong side of the city for Black Country territory!

              1. Benchops

                Re: Scouring of the Shire

                My apologies -- I always thought that Birmingham was part of the Black Country (especially in industrial revolution times). I didn't realise it was more tightly defined (certainly seems to be nowadays)! I have now learnt something about geography! At least I don't attempt to pronounce Shrewsbury.

  4. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Slow off the mark

    News of this broke over a week ago; at least, that is how long the discussion thread has been running on the LOTRO forums.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slow off the mark

      Yeah, but it takes even longer for the LOTRO guys to get around to discussing the latest devops & storage news :-)

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Slow off the mark

        Not so, just last week we were discussing if the latest Cray super computer, armed with a quad pack of AMD's finest gfx cards; could get double digit fps around Minas Tiruth without crashing every time you use a porting skill or walked through a door.

        ICON

        Gandalf REALLY let himself go in later years

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: Slow off the mark

      It took Gandalf 20 odd years to work out that Bilbo's ring was the one ring, so I think we can forgive the Reg being a week late.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slow off the mark

      Perhaps so, but there's only one 'Reg'

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Slow off the mark

        "One Reg to Rule them all* and in the forums bind them."

        *commentards, obviously. Although thinking about it, does this make Lewis Page akin to Saruman?

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          Re: Slow off the mark

          We can work in an El Reg angle!

          "The vultures! The vultures are coming!!"

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Slow off the mark

            "The vultures! The vultures are coming!!"

            I suspect that El Reg would be more on the nine-ring tormented into unlife side of things than rescuing small plucky adventurers from certain Doom..

  5. jake Silver badge

    If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

    ... Middle-earth ain't it.

    But they'll spend half a billion dollars and fuck it up anyway ... and the terminally clueless will flock to it in droves, undoubtedly.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

      and the terminally clueless will flock to it in droves, undoubtedly.

      Its not referred to as the "Idiot Box" for no reason...

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

        I'm guessing they'll try to cash in on the success of that Thrones thing . Presumably whats being sold is the whole rights to middle earth to F*** in the ass any way they want , rather than the LOTR story.

        So it'll probably turn into a sex and violence soap for the masses , ala Thrones.

        1. tfewster Silver badge

          Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

          Sex and violence is fine (though not at the same time, and I draw the line at naked hairy-toed hobbits).

          I can't imagine how they're going to introduce cliffhangers when we already know Bilbo etc. live to sail to the Grey Kingdoms.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

            introduce cliffhangers when we already know Bilbo etc. live

            Lots of minor characters who come to a satisfactory sticky^W messy^w gruesome end..

        2. Ian Emery Silver badge

          Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

          You mean, like "The Tomorrow People"; where the original series portrayed the "Nova" humans as incapable of violence, and they turned it into a cheap and nasty, Buffy style, kung fu series.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it have a black frodo and gay for no reason elves?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      @AC

      and gay for no reason elves?

      Matt Lucas could play Daffyd, the only gay elf in Middle Earth

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        There's an unofficial (and never published in English) *alternative* telling of the events of LOTR. The premise is that history is written by the victors and thus LOTR is propaganda written to justify the actions of the racist and technologically backward men and elves. It's told from the perspective of the enlightened (but ultimately defeated) Easterners.

        The Tolkein estate has nixed any English publication (the original is in Russian) but an English translation approved by the author is available online.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hopefully it is a better read than the wiki entry, as it just sounds awful.

          1. RealBigAl

            It starts off reasonably well but falls apart when they get to Umbar

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              I haven't read it, but I like devil's advocate aspect of it. It was a point that first came to my young awareness in an Isaac Asimov (himself a historian as well as a Sci-fi author and biochemist) short story about using a time machine to learn more about Carthage.

              All we know about Carthage is through their enemies the Romans. The Romans razed the city to the ground. According to the Romans, people in Carthage ate babies.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          It's like the Star Trek Discovery of Lord of the Rings.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        gay

        is uberpasse (the other day I saw a "me-too" Dinosaur Dan. Dino-girl, that is. My son didn't mind - because dinosaurs! My daughter wasn't interested as before - because dinosaurs!).

        I can't wait for Mr June, our new glorious leader...

    2. EddieD

      No reason? The series is camper than a Boys' Brigade jamboree - how many female characters are there in the original, and how much "page time" do they get?

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I always thought...

    I always thought that they could do "Middle Earth : The Sixth age".

    Basically where loads of tired and bored looking commuters are late for work due to a dragon or a Balrog on the line.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I always thought...

      Don't give Southern Rail any ideas.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: I always thought...

      And there will be also "Smaug papers", when someone leak the position of a cave in a Caribbean island where a dragon is sleeping over an offshore treasure, amassed there by greedy dwarfs to avoid to pay taxes....

  8. Cranky_Yank

    Rubbed the wrong way

    Has it occurred to anybody that "Lord" sounds a bit sexist? Any suggestions for a viable substitute?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rubbed the wrong way

      The tale of the vertically challenged ring bringers.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Rubbed the wrong way

      "Lord" sounds a bit sexist? Any suggestions for a viable substitute?

      Bring it up to date.

      "Baroness of the Internet"

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/06/martha_lane_fox_virtue_signalling_website_badge

      The everyday struggles of the trailblazer of the dot com revolution and member of the Upper Chamber in the land of Westminster. The epic story of how she transformed the Government Digital Service and how she hopes to bring Trust to the WWW. (Wild Wild West World Wide Web)

      Cameo by Lord Sugar

    3. JimS

      Re: Rubbed the wrong way

      Combine Lord and Lady somehow.

      Lardy Of The Rings.

      One donut to rule them all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rubbed the wrong way

        "Lardy Of The Rings"

        "One donut to rule them all"

        - That has a ring to it!

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Rubbed the wrong way

      Has it occurred to anybody that "Lord" sounds a bit sexist? Any suggestions for a viable substitute?

      Yes, but Lady of the Rings sounds like a undiscovered Emanuelle movie...

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Rubbed the wrong way

        "Yes, but Lady of the Rings sounds like a undiscovered Emanuelle movie..."

        That's 'Lard of the Ring (When there is No Butter)

        also known by : Last Tango in Mordor.

    5. Sanguma

      Re: Rubbed the wrong way

      "Any suggestions for a viable substitute?"

      CEO? Chairperson?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazed no one else hasn't commented.....

    ....TV works on the basis of "....what can we plagiarise that's hot...."

    Currently what's Hot is Game of Thrones......which in a TV executives unbelievable small mind and short attention span can be compressed into the single word "Fantasy".

    Dragons, bad people, good people, heroes, scheming GoT has it all.

    So let's take LoTR and reimagine it with a GoT perspective, that's bound to sell.

    You might well laugh, but the TV industry, even in it's current 'Golden Age' (for all the dross out there there's still some pretty good shows made) would look at $500m for say a 7-8 year series as cheap, if it's Amazon or Netflix or Apple or a similar streaming service $500m could equate to a $4-46bn return in committed subscribers for just that show. Look at GoT, it had 31m average viewers during season 7, now let's just say that 15% of them subscribe to HBO because of GoT so that's 4.5m (rounded off), at $10 per month or $120 per year equates to about $550m of revenue per year (OK I accept you won't get 31m straight away, but the potential is there), plus the international rights which would certainly offset the bulk of licence and production costs for seasons 1 and 2.

    None of us would want the quality to suffer, but the initial investment level is not that big if they can make it a hit.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: Amazed no one else hasn't commented.....

      Apart from dragons, there's a Netflix show with good people, bad people, scheming and even killings.

      A shame, then, that they've just axed House of Cards

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Amazed no one else hasn't commented.....

        Most of the appeal of GoT is the scheming and intrigue, lifted from European history. Until the most recent series, the fantasy elements have sat on the periphery, just as our maps once had areas marked 'here be dragons'.

        It seems odds to cancel House of Cards on Spacey's account, when his character was fading and Claire Underwood had just risen to the top - though in this age of 45's carnival the show had lost some of its relevance.

        Looking forward to another series of Wolf Hall with Mark Rylance, even if we know the ending!

        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: Most of the appeal of GoT

          "Most of the appeal of GoT is the scheming and intrigue, lifted from European history. Until the most recent series, the fantasy elements have sat on the periphery"

          Which I guess is why it turned out boring as shite and I ended up dumping it after a couple of seasons. No I don't care who's screwing who or whose family has a ten generations old rivalry with another. I want magic blowing shit up and dragons setting fire to things.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Amazed no one else hasn't commented.....

      "Dragons, bad people, good people, heroes, scheming..."

      What I love about GoT is that there aren't per se "good people" and "bad people", just people doing things that are 'good' or 'bad', but rarely completely good or completely bad, and in any case 'good' and 'bad' aren't that simple. Everyone is acting to maximise their own 'good', based on a worldview that is built of a number of events starting from childhood, many conflicting with each other and often traumatic. Each of many, many 'sides' has their own 'good' and 'evil', and these change as events have an effect on the characters' experiences.

      LOTR, while being a fine tale rendered into an excellent film trilogy, suffers the one-dimensionality of absolute good vs absolute evil, and for all the fact that there are nuances (especially Gollum's charecter), pretty much every charecter can be put squarely in one camp or another.

      In any case, LOTR TV series... ugh!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        there aren't per se "good people" and "bad people"

        Yes, it is what's being used to justify evil and selfishness today....

        But Tolkien mythology is based on the Good vs. Evil struggle - and influenced by the WW wars - and it won't be as forceful as it is if its characters weren't on one of the sides strongly, although a few ones aren't - but have to choose a side eventually. Boromir or Théoden, for example. Denethor is another example of a character who fails at the end. Anyway, when so much is it at stake - that's not a simple foreign king, it's the servant of the Evil Lord himself - people have to choose a side, and the real heroes shine....

        In the Silmarillion characters are often less "pure", anyway.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if HBO were to take over....

    ..just need to add some boobies and it's good to go.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: So if HBO were to take over....

      Bored of the rings starts with a sex scene - an elf tries to bang the ring off Dildo or Frito (can't remember which). If they start with BOTR as the source material they will not need to change so much to make a TV series.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: So if HBO were to take over....

        Edgy modern remake (sorry - "reboot") opening scene : hospital ER with a bunch of handsome firemen fire-persons busily trying to saw the hardened titanium One Ring off Bilbo's [BEEEP] while trying to keep it intact...

  11. Stephen Wilkinson
    Trollface

    will there be lots of walking?

  12. Richard 81

    It can't end up worse than The Hobbit movies. Seeing a Billy Connolly, as a CGI dwarf, riding around on a giant pig and twatting orks was the last straw. The third one was basically Warhammer: The Movie.

    1. BongoJoe

      Well done for getting that far. I couldn't get past the Clearing Up Of Dinner by the horde of cheery Oirish extras seeming escaping from the wreckage of lower decks of the Titanic.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Well they did turn something that could fit into one film into three. Hollywood's very own quest for treasure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Hollywood's very own quest for treasure."

        Yes, and because The Hobbit plot lacked a female "hot chick" Hollywood had to cram in one, otherwise how could the Weinsteins "interview" actresses? And of course the public they have in mind could never watch a movie without one...

      2. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

        Soon after Desolation came out I found a copy of the old Rankin-Bass version on DVD - maybe 80 minutes long (it was a TV movie, so 2 hours with commercials, back in the 70's), and it stayed very true to the book. Not nearly as "exciting" as the new movies, but then it didn't need to be because it wasn't stretched out.

    3. 0laf Silver badge

      Hobbit Schmobbit

      I probably enjoyed the Warcraft film more than any of the Hobbit films.

      Warcraft and Warhammer same thing ish? Orcs and dice?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

    Would have thought it was excellent source material.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      God preserve us no! Fucking awful books!

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        God preserve us no! Fucking awful books!

        I read them all when I was in my early teens.

        The mood is depressingly dark in most of them - perfect teenage fodder.

        Not a 'family' movie though - I'd say Stephen Donaldsons 'Mirror of her Dreams' would be a better bet - could even see that one as a Disney...(bit of tweaking).

      2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        I thought the first three were ok but it very rapidly went downhill. Although Donaldson's writing style was a hard work.

    2. RealBigAl

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      The problem with the Covenant novels would be selling the idea.

      Pitch "Let's film the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, it's a fantasy series, like LotR or GoT"

      Exec "Sounds good, tell me more"

      Pitch "Well, TC is a leper in modern day America, he somehow gets magically transported to The Land, where the white gold wedding ring of his beloved lost wife gives him magic powers"

      Exec "Sounds very interesting, tell me more"

      Pitch "Well, when he arrives the first thing he does is rape his rescuer"

      Exec "Get out"

      <Door Slams>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        ---> "The problem with the Covenant novels would be selling the idea.

        Pitch "Let's film the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, it's a fantasy series, like LotR or GoT"

        Exec "Sounds good, tell me more"

        Pitch "Well, TC is a leper in modern day America, he somehow gets magically transported to The Land, where the white gold wedding ring of his beloved lost wife gives him magic powers"

        Exec "Sounds very interesting, tell me more"

        Pitch "Well, when he arrives the first thing he does is rape his rescuer"

        Exec "Get out"

        <Door Slams>"

        *******************************************

        I agree if you pitched it like that you would get that result.....now try this way.

        Pitch:- Thomas Covenant is a Leper in modern day America, the Leprosy is actually an allusion for how as we get older many of our dreams and ambitions get smashed by the burdens of the society in which we live and as a result we become more insular.

        He gets transported to a fantasy world called The Land, which he just doesn't believe is real, his disbelief becomes a major theme of his character development.

        Upon arriving he is rescued from a cliff by a young girl who sees him as a character foretold of in local legends. Covenant is overwhelmed to discover that his leprosy is mitigated to the point he can feel things again and in a moment of madness, driven by his refound senses, awakened sexual drive after years of none and disbelief of The Land he rapes the girl. She accepts this as the actions of what she perceives as a Deity figure and a whole load of consequences evolve from this single act.

        ****************************************************

        1. Richard 81

          Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

          @AC: ...yeah I still don't see anyone going for it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

          I guess many in Hollywood and the like would like the idea of being considered Gods so they could rape young girls without consequences, still I don't believe it will go well with the general public...

        3. RealBigAl

          Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

          Exec "You expect the majority of our viewers to care about literary allusions? We have a hard enough time keeping them from channel hoping during revenue generating ad breaks. What's hot right now is magic and dragons. Not rapists who spend large parts of the story feeling sorry for themselves. Next you'll be wanting me to cast Harvey Weinstein as Thomas Covenant"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      >Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      Fuck that, Lord Kevin "Landwaster" Keegan and all that crap, no thanks. Been there, seen it, done it and wasted a portion of my life on those books.

      Ian Banks culture novels, now we are talking.

    4. Sloping Shoulders

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      Thomas Covenant was the worst set of books I have ever had the misfortune to read, and I read the initial Battlefield Earth.

      Let's review the plot. Thomas Covenant mopes around continually abusing everyone he meets, and moaning constantly "I'm a leper'.

      A more Guardian set of books I can't imagine.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        Not sure how they'd get in the grindingly awful prose either.

        David Langford did a lovely spoof :

        ""Hellfire!" erupted Thomas Covenant, his raw, self-inflicted nostrils clenching in white-hot, stoical anguish while his gaunt, compulsory visage knotted with fey misery. His lungs were clogged with ruin. A hot, gelid, gagging, fulvous tide of self-accusation dinned in his ears: leper bestseller outcast unclean.... To release the analystic refulgence, the wild magic of the white gold ring he wore, could conceivably shatter the Arch of Time, utterly destroy the Land, and put a premature, preterite end to the plot!

        'Yet what other way was there? The argute notion pierced his mind like a jerid. Only thus could the unambergrised malison of Lord Foul be aneled. Only thus. He clenched his clenching. Hellfire and damnation!

        'At that point he winced at a swift, sapid lucubration ...' "

    5. ssharwood

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      Because the niche for an endlessly self-loathing protagonist is occupied by BoJack Horseman.

      And because they're boring.

    6. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      There are 10 books to the series. If Hollywood split each one into 3 films, at 3 hours each...

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        I think that Thomas Covenant would be a gentle warm-up for the main event: The Gap Series!

      2. ssharwood

        Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

        It would be a fine alternative to Gitmo, but with worse torture

    7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

      Please, no. Just no.

      Five (or was it six) books of some bloke being miserable and grumpy followed by about 2 pages of him realising that it's all OK really?

      If I wanted that I'd watch the evening news.

  14. x 7

    We don't need another ring piece

  15. Kaltern

    How about, god forbid, creating a whole new story 1000 years later.... after all, there's always nefarious types wanting to rule the world.

    But that would mean injecting originality into Middle Earth... and originality tends to cost even more money..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >How about, god forbid, creating a whole new story 1000 years later.... after all, there's always nefarious types wanting to rule the world.

      A line comes to mind from the excellent Vincent Price horror flick "Theatre of Blood" that Ian Hendry utters, slightly paraphrased:

      "Only Hollywood would have the temerity to rewrite Tolkien"

      1. Richard 81

        Well, pretty much every game based in the LotR universe had done that too.

        Everyone seen Sexy Shelob in Shadow of War? I rest my case.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      "and originality tends to cost even more money.."

      Sad thing is that originality does not only cost money in the sense of the expense needed to create a film/TV script, it also costs money at the box office because so many people prefer to see something they 'know'.

      No matter how many people wail and gnash at Hollywood sequels, remakes and reimaginings, truth is they only exist because they sell, and they only sell because that's how most people are wired

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        I don't see how that follows. At all. It's not that people aren't willing to go watch something new, it's that there's no guarantee those who do will like it, and if it's crap they sure will prevent lots of others from wasting their time and money on it. Whereas a known franchise, even if not quite as successful as the original, is much less of a risk for a producer - and that's the reason we get sequels.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they are going make a series, for starters kill the stupid amount of background music, I found it really grating in the films and detracts from the story.

    Less is more.

  17. small and stupid

    Yuck

    Every cent spent on LOTR TV is a cent NOT being spent on "The Continuing Adventures of Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser" and/or " Tales of the Dying Earth" and/or "Tales from Zothique and Hyperborea"

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Continuing Adventures of Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser

      Otherwise known as "I'd really like to write good fanstasy but can't, so I'll write some dreary formulaic nonsense instead".

      Boring, boring, boring.

  18. tiggity Silver badge

    Bombadil

    I like Tom Bombadil, in tune with nature, incorruptible - we could do with a few politicians like that (but keep the singing thanks)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bombadil

      we could do with a few politicians like that

      You want Bill Oddy as prime minister?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: Bombadil

      Taxes are going to rise,

      To save the earth before it dies.

      Incomes down down dilli-o,

      dilli-o dilli-o di!

      You'll pay an extra 2%,

      To save the world's environment.

      Up up dillio-di

      We're all going to pay.

      Hooray!

      I vote no. We don't want him in politics. I'd almost prefer "I'm going to build a wall and Mordor is going to pay!"

  19. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    LoTR TV-Show

    The image that first came to mind was Celeborn as a TV-presenter interviewing various personalities, like the uruk-hai second-in-command bitching about what a drama-queen Saruman was, the trolls from the gates of Mordor explaining what an art it was to get those doors open and how Sauron was too cheap to pay for oil to lubricate the joints or finally some hobbits on how they were sure that Mad Old Baggins' boy was destined for greater things.

  20. rmason Silver badge

    Not sure why people are wondering what they have left to cover. Like all the recent random TV series popping up it will simply be the same story again. Some are tweaked, some not at all.

    I wish they'd remember they can write new things. The amount of "films remade as a series" on netflix and amazon is crazy. Recent releases include a series based on the film "shooter", the "Snatch" series etc. this will be the same.

    Minor tweaks but the same story we've been told 5 or 6 times now.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I think there's an opportunity for some good writing. The films had the special effects, but some of the writing was pisspoor. They completely dumped any idea of character development - which there is some of in the books - and they left out the good lines they should have nicked from the book, and didn't replace them with anything of note.

      Missing out the scouring of the Shire was proof of it. That's a vitally important part of both the story and the character arcs - and it's not as if they didn't have enough time to cover it. Some of those CGI battle sequences were in desperate need of editing down.

      Not that I'm saying TV will do any better, but it's always possible. There's been some amazing boxsets in the last 15 years.

  21. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    The script:

    E1: intro characters with some orc bashing.

    E2: Find a super elvish sword and kill some orcs

    E3: Bilbo (the Brave) humps an elf (sex unspecified)

    E4: Team-kill some orcs

    E5: Bilbo gets humped by a ethnic-minority dwarf and runs into Gandalf the Gone-off

    E6: Kill some orcs and, for good measure Bilbo humps one.

    E7: Bilbo befriends a dead dragon and rides it for the rest of the season.

    E8: Bilbo humps the elf (turns out to be Lucy Lawless) whilst riding the dragon and kills loads of orcs.

    E9: Big battle. Bilbo about to die at the hands of reincarnated Sauron ... just as season ends ...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they don't cut Dobby the house elf!!!!!!! Films that cut book characters is one of my pet Peeves.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      I hope they don't cut Dobby the house elf!!!!!!! Films that cut book characters is one of my pet Peeves.

      Or just plain maul them over - what SyFy did to Gurney Halleck in their version of Dune...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        I was told that Dune series was quite good, and I should look it up. Was that not true?

        Shame if so. The film was a big pair of pants - and it would be interesting to see it done well.

        1. nichomach

          I'm not going to say "work of genius", but I thought it was pretty good; truer to the book, excellent performances.

        2. Keith Langmead

          "I was told that Dune series was quite good, and I should look it up. Was that not true?"

          Personally I thought it was good. Perhaps not perfect in some areas, but far more accurate to the books (both the Dune series and then the Children of Dune series) than the film version. Well worth a watch if you enjoyed the first three books.

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Talking of characters ... what have they done to Poirot's moustache in Murder on the Orient Express. I don't remember Christie ever writing "His delicately waxed moustache looked like a rat that had done ten rounds in a candy floss machine."

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Murder on the Orient Express"

          What version? The latest I've seen made Poirot a Catholic bigot.... scriptwriters - mostly failed writers, I believe - became arrogant and lack the humbleness needed to work on masterpieces.

          There's a reason why some works became masterpieces, and changing them in the attempt to show how great you are usually just show your arrogance and the incompetence which usually accompany it.

  23. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Why not

    Put the money towards developing The Watch?

    Obligatory request for Sir Pterry icon.

    1. tfewster Silver badge

      Re: Why not

      "CSI: Ankh-Morpork" sounds awesome. "I'll just write a GUI for Hex to track his aura"

      Though too many deus ex machinas available e.g. the Rite of AshkEnte

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Why not

        @tfewster: The Watch books don't have too many of those though.

        I don't tend to think "CSI: Ankh-Morpork", but rather "A Touch of Frost: Ankh-Morpork" but with even more humour. Unlike every other Discworld TV adaptation (of which The Hogfather is still the best), The Watch needs to actually be quite dark (as well as funny) and definitely aimed at adults.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not

      Why not....Put the money towards developing The Watch?

      Because a good half of the magic of the books is in the descriptive vocabulary and the narrative, aided and abetted by the imagination of the reader. Little or none of that translates onto the screen.

      Which (IMHO) is a big part of the explanation for the poor results of the various Discworld movie adaptations tried so far. Making a Pratchett-themed movie is easy - making a film of one of the core Discworld novels with the fun and energy of the books, well........ I'll believe that when I see it.

      And you can be sure that Hollywood would get their oar in and f*** it all up. So much of Discworld is about Britain, London, and a Britain-centric world concept that every tiny reference would need explaining for the overseas audiences. Except that they couldn't stop the plot to explain, so they'd just remove the thing that needed explanation, and drip by drip they'd end up systematically removing everything other than character and location names, with these thrown into a bastardised version of the original plot.

      That's why not.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Why not

        Easy: make in a "film noir" style, with inner monologue to channel the atmosphere...

  24. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    I for one...

    ...welcome a good and clear interpretation of Tom Bombadil. Sadly, TV isn't up to the task at hand.

    My coat with a copy of The fellowship in the pocket.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Simon Harris Silver badge

    How about a decent crack at Earthsea

    better than the SyFy 2004 version.

    Now that would be worth seeing, particularly if they could follow through all the stories.

  26. Gordon Pryra

    Hmmm Galadriel's Breasts

    Because you know it will be commissioned by a group of executives who will take what has made loads of cash before and transpose the LoTR storytelling over the top of it.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm Galadriel's Breasts

      Will that be the updated version of 'The Two Towers'?

  27. rmason Silver badge

    Hey ho, derry do, merry do my darling.

    old Tom Bombadillo knows TV execs are frightening,

    butcher up the story they will to try and make it more exciting,

    modernising it will need, with lots of lens-flare and fighting

    Hey ho derry do, if it's done by amazon it'll be less enlightening.

    If HBO get involved the level of nudity will be rising. Merry do my DAAAAAAARRRLLLIIIINNNNG

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Very well done, but this:

      butcher up the story they will to try and make it more exciting,

      Sounded a bit too much like Yoda...

  28. 0laf Silver badge

    Something based on Neal Asher's Polity, I'd like something on the Spatterjay captains.

    Or Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs Tech-ninja.

    Both have a lot of backstory that would mean the books wouldn't need to be followed.

    1. RealBigAl

      Altered Carbon the TV series is coming to Netflix next year.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2261227/

      1. Martin 47

        .......and the book is just 99p for the kindle version

      2. 0laf Silver badge
        Happy

        This makes me happy, cheers!

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Richard K. Morgan

      Any of his books would make a satisfactory dark fantasy film. Likewise with Joe Abercrombie. Or The Vor series by Lois McMaster Bujold..

  29. salamamba too

    Grunts

    A LOTR show could be good, if they can get Mary Gentle to write it.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Grunts

      'Pass me another Elf, I've split this one'

  30. nijam

    > the scouring of The Shire

    I believe it's now called "the draining of The Swamp".

  31. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

    Just no - just look at Shannara

    Look at what they've done with the Shannara storyline and shudder in fear. And that's with the author still alive!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just no - just look at Shannara

      Shannara is lowest common denominator TV riding the wave of SFF popularised but LotR, GoT and arguably The Expanse. It's utter rubbish and yet still a massive improvement over the turgid books.

      1. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

        Re: Just no - just look at Shannara

        Post-apocalyptic setting, with no electricity, yet they manage to have a rave, complete with a DJ and lighting effects. I think they had explained that away with a generator - because after hundreds of years it would still run and the fuel would be available...

        But then the show was on MTV - I can't imagine what they'll do with it now on Spike!

  32. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

    Making Tom Bombadil comprehensible and interesting?

    Sure and after that they can square the circle, make peace in the Middle East, cure cancer and get a law passed forbidding the use of Powerpoint in meetings. Should be a doddle by comparison.

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