Warner Bros. Discovery will release new Lord of the Rings movies in the coming years. Although we thought that after the series of The Rings of Power, which launched Amazon Prime Video last year, we had enough about the world devised by Tolkien, Warner has attacked announcing that hobbits, orcs and elves will return to the big screen.
The announcement has come after revealing that David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, has reached an agreement with the holders of the official film rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: Embracer Group.
Far from announcing a single production in the world of Middle-earth, Warner has thrown the house out the window and announced that the agreement has come to carry out “multiple” films. However, it has not revealed the exact number of films, so it could be either a new trilogy or a kind of new extended universe as with Marvel or Star Wars.
In addition, the films will be developed under the New Line Cinema label, the Warner studio that already carried out the original trilogy and is behind productions such as The Conjuring, Black Adam, It or Creed. Undoubtedly, this is a big bet by the company, which wants to return to the times when Peter Jackson had the saga under control.
“Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith and brought the incredible stories, characters and world of The Lord of the Rings to the big screen. The result was a landmark film saga that has been embraced by generations of fans,” explained Michael de Luca and Pamela Abdy, heads of Warner Bros. Films, in justifying their decision.
It is expected that the films will arrive on HBO Max shortly after they are released, as is the case with Warner’s productions of this style. This could generate a new great rivalry between Amazon Prime Video, which already has its own Middle-earth rights that have led it to make its own series, and HBO Max, which would have its own productions.
There are still no further details on what path Warner Bros. Discovery will take to develop this series of films. It seems clear that Peter Jackson will not be behind them, after the veiled disaster that was The Hobbit trilogy. Even so, they could make the decision to turn him into a sort of Kevin Feige of his universe, which at the same time could have great filmmakers on board.
It is also not known if they will want to remake the original story (which seems very hasty, considering that the films are relatively recent) or if, as it seems, they will expand Tolkien’s universe. In any case, many doubts arise about its necessity.
Is it a good time for new Middle-earth movies?
The biggest intrigue that has plagued everyone after this announcement is whether it is a good idea to expand, at this very moment, the universe created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Although it was one of the most followed series of 2022, The Rings of Power series has not achieved even a tenth of the prestige of the original trilogy, and the reviews were rather negative.
This is due, on the one hand, to the fact that the quality of the series has not turned out to be as high as one would expect. Although at the level of production design there is no doubt that every euro is well invested, the story has left a lot to be desired for the fans. Thus, even its second season is in doubt as to its success.
Thus, it does not seem like the best time to release new Lord of the Rings films. It may be that audiences, after The Hobbit and this series, feel that the formula has been exhausted. However, in a world where movies are already franchise-driven, it seems that the trajectory of the majors is not going to change any time soon.