Amazon.com Inc has made biggest and most expensive move to attract viewers to its streaming and shopping club Prime. It has brought the worldwide television rights to The Lord of the Rings. The firm said that it will produce a multi-season series that will tell new storylines preceding author J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, the first instalment in The Lord of the Rings franchise.
Three movies of the trilogy which were directed by Peter Jackson in the early 2000’s in New Zealand grossed nearly $3 billion at the box office and 17 Academy Awards. Amazon brought the rights from the Tolkien Estate and Trust, but did not reveal how much did it pay to them.
Amazon will get help from the estate HarperCollins and the films’ distributor New Line Cinema in producing the television series. Amazon is planning to produce a show that could be a hit worldwide similar to HBO’s popular fantasy series Game of Thrones. “Amazon is committed to producing super high quality, recognized, branded entertainment,” said Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter. “That’s a departure from shows like Transparent and Catastrophe. By definition this will be expensive,” he added.
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