So, Amazon has inked a deal to turn Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings into a five season series.
I’m all for people getting work and making a living and this would employ a lot of creative people for quite some time… but its clear that the main motivation for this isn’t artistic or for a love of the world and the characters – its for the love of profit.
They’ve even worked it into the deal that they can use Peter Jackson’s Rings trilogy films – meaning it may look and sound just like those films… but stretched over multiple episodes for five seasons… so let’s say 1 hour episodes and an average of 10 episodes per season… so, that’s fifty hours of film to re-tell the saga of Sam & Frodo trying to get the One Ring to Mordor and throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom.
Some may see that as a fantastic prospect – more time spent in Middle-Earth, more merchandise to buy and hang on one’s wall or cosplay at conventions or play board games of, etc. etc. etc.
While it remains to be seen how good the writing will be, the casting choices, the set pieces, giant battles sequences – and all of that which has to be included to translate the epic tale into a visual medium for audience consumption… at this point it just seems doomed to fail.
That’s personal opinion of course. But it just seems as though the motivation for this whole enterprise isn’t in the right place… and may simply look and feel like an arduous and drawn out version of three films which already stand as a serviceable and beloved telling of Frodo’s heartbreaking journey.
Why do we need this 5 season property anyway?
Obviously Amazon is thinking in terms of billions in merchandising and other revenue — money is the driving force behind every endeavor, and I guess that’s what rankles me about this “announcement”.
“The people love this world, they loved the movies… it’s got swords and knights and dragons… let’s do a Game of Thrones with it! It’s money in the bank!”
Again, in terms of the work this will create for actors, directors, costumers, prop makers, stunt performers and choreographers, etc. – it’s great.
I’m just not sure its something we need… all of that creative energy put forth in recreating (or re-purposing Jackson’s look and take on the world of Middle-Earth) just seems misguided to me… but then again, I’m not a profit hungry entertainment lawyer or studio head.
If it comes about and it succeeds, I’ll happily eat my words. But right now, looking at the motivations — I don’t have high hopes, or any hopes at all.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien