Image: Amazon Studios

Peter Jackson isn’t involved with Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings TV series because the studio basically ghosted him.

This is what the legendary director behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies seems to be claiming, having told The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters in an upcoming The Business podcast about how Amazon initially promised to send him scripts but ultimately never followed through. Jackson suggested something similar in an older exchange with Scott Feinberg on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, in which he revealed that Amazon asked him if he wanted to be involved and teased that it’ d be sending scripts over “as soon” as they were available.

Apparently, Amazon Studios was not serious and wanted to completely distance itself from the guy responsible for New Line’s hugely successful movies.

“About four, five years ago, they asked if I would be interested in it,” Jackson said. “So I said, ‘Have you got the scripts yet?’ Because I know how hard the scripts were to write for the films, and I didn’t know the people writing their scripts. They said, ‘Oh no, we haven’t got the scripts yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll send you the scripts.’ So I was waiting for the scripts to arrive, and they never did.”

Jackson doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward Amazon and its new Lord of the Rings series, however, having confirmed that he’ll be tuning in to the show.

“I’ll be watching it,” he says. “I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”

Amazon Studios has responded to Jackson’s comments with the following statement, noting that it still greatly respects the filmmaker:

In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films. We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. Amazon Studios has described its new streaming series as an epic drama that is set “thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.”

Peter Jackson’s most recent project is The Beatles: Get Back, a docuseries that traces the making of the iconic band’s 1970 album Let It Be. The director is also working on a new Tintin movie called The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure, according to iMDB.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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9 comments

  1. It will be interesting to see if they can do worse than what MTV/Spike did to Shannara. I tried to look past its faults but that only lasted for about 3-5 episodes and then I decided I couldn't take any more. I attempted to watch the S2 premiere and didn't even make it a few minutes in. That show had so much potential and all they had to do was stick with the books but instead, they tried to reinvent it.
  2. "Perhaps even more crucially, sources say author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate was against having Jackson on board. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the estate had no involvement with his films and Christopher Tolkien has previously slammed the trilogy in the press as 'eviscerating' his father’s books, claiming they turned his novels into action movies for young people that lack 'beauty and seriousness.' But the estate is involved with the series — Amazon paid the estate an astounding $250 million for the rights to make the show."

    Daaaaang, I didn't know about that about the original trilogy. I thought Tolkien's estate had given Jackson their blessing to do those movies. I really enjoyed the LotR movies, as did my friends who read the books.
  3. "Perhaps even more crucially, sources say author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate was against having Jackson on board. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the estate had no involvement with his films and Christopher Tolkien has previously slammed the trilogy in the press as 'eviscerating' his father’s books, claiming they turned his novels into action movies for young people that lack 'beauty and seriousness.'
    I've never seen those movies so I can't speak to how good they are or aren't. However, its worth noting that a lot of people read the books and still enjoyed the films. Furthermore, actor Christopher Lee was related to J.R.R. Tolkien and actually knew him. He seemed OK with them based on interviews he did concerning the subject of his relationship with Tolkien and the films in general.

    The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien might hate everything, but it could be for reasons beyond not liking the movies or Peter Jackson's work. They may have felt they should have gotten a better deal on the film rights for the trilogy. I don't know.
  4. "Perhaps even more crucially, sources say author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate was against having Jackson on board. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the estate had no involvement with his films and Christopher Tolkien has previously slammed the trilogy in the press as 'eviscerating' his father’s books, claiming they turned his novels into action movies for young people that lack 'beauty and seriousness.' But the estate is involved with the series — Amazon paid the estate an astounding $250 million for the rights to make the show."

    Daaaaang, I didn't know about that about the original trilogy. I thought Tolkien's estate had given Jackson their blessing to do those movies. I really enjoyed the LotR movies, as did my friends who read the books.

    I've never seen those movies so I can't speak to how good they are or aren't. However, its worth noting that a lot of people read the books and still enjoyed the films. Furthermore, actor Christopher Lee was related to J.R.R. Tolkien and actually knew him. He seemed OK with them based on interviews he did concerning the subject of his relationship with Tolkien and the films in general.

    The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien might hate everything, but it could be for reasons beyond not liking the movies or Peter Jackson's work. They may have felt they should have gotten a better deal on the film rights for the trilogy. I don't know.
    The Tolkien Estate had absolutely nothing to do with the Jackson films for the very good reason that Tolkien sold some of the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy decades ago. I've never looked into exactly what he sold off but it was basically the rights to movies, shows and other media of that type. He kept the rights to the print books. This means that no one has to deal with the estate at all with regards to those sources but instead temporarily purchase the right of use from the actual owner, Saul Zaentz Company or Middle Earth Enterprises or whatever the name of it is now.

    Christopher Tolkien's opinion was always that everything that wasn't the original written word is an abomination so take anything said by him with a grain of salt.

    It's also good to take into consideration that the Tolkien Estate is a very different animal now than what it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago, especially with the passing of Christopher Tolkien. I have no doubt that the current iteration of the Estate doesn't really care about the "purity" of the works and is more concerned with the money they can bring in. The trailers released for the show so far prove that. So much of what has been shown ignores or directly contradicts the lore. If the Tolkien Estate is on board with the dumpster fire that is this show, it's only because of money. There's really only two reasons the Tolkien Estate would be involved. To attempt to trick people into believing this show has some sort of legitimacy because the Tolkien Estate is on board or to gain access to some of the written works or at least parts of the written works that the Tolkien Estate still owns the rights for.
  5. "Perhaps even more crucially, sources say author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate was against having Jackson on board. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the estate had no involvement with his films and Christopher Tolkien has previously slammed the trilogy in the press as 'eviscerating' his father’s books, claiming they turned his novels into action movies for young people that lack 'beauty and seriousness.' But the estate is involved with the series — Amazon paid the estate an astounding $250 million for the rights to make the show."

    Daaaaang, I didn't know about that about the original trilogy. I thought Tolkien's estate had given Jackson their blessing to do those movies. I really enjoyed the LotR movies, as did my friends who read the books.
    Christopher Tolkien was highly against even the most minor changes, rumor has it that's why amazon waited until he is no longer around so they don't have to deal with him. Now after his death all the estate cares about is the payday, not protecting the legacy.

    This is not even lord of the rings, amazon doesn't have the rights to that, all they have rights for are appendices of the silmarilion. Which is just a history book with no plot to speak of. That's why they keep referring to hobbits as harfoots, because they don't have the rights to portray hobbits. When anybody even remotely familiar with LOTR knows harfoots are just one variant of hobbits.

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