Sunday, November 5, 2017

Is the Possible LOTR TV Show a Good Thing?

On Friday, dropped an exclusive that Tolkien's estate and Warner Bros. Television are in talks with Amazon Studios about a Lord of the Rings television adaptation (with a whopping price tag reportedly in the range of $200-250 million, according to Deadline).

There's certainly a lot of detail -and even entire characters- left out of the movies that a television adaptation could delve into. Nerdist points to Tom Bombadil (a character featured in over 30 pages of The Fellowship of the Ring and left entirely out of the films), but my personal thoughts turn to Faramir. He got the butt-end of the stick script-wise when they decided to strip out his nobility and common sense for the bulk of The Two Towers to use him as a convenient story device, but they also cut out so much of the beautiful romance that blossoms between him and Eowyn while they recover from their wounds.

That being said, I'm not particularly thrilled by the idea of a Lord of the Rings TV show.

Despite some flaws, the movies proved fantastic adaptations. Some of the best book-to-film adaptations to date, in fact. While there were some things they left out from the novels, it wasn't enough to make a reboot necessary, even if they do sink enough money into it to make it a reasonable contender for the films. Reboots of all kinds are currently invading the box office, small screens, and streaming services. Some of them are really good and many of them are unnecessary. (I ask you, do we NEED live-action remakes of every Disney film ever?)

If one wants to do a television adaptation of a series, I'd like to see them tackle something whose film series didn't actually cover it very well. There's some that would fall into the genre-focused push Amazon Studios and CEO Jeff Bezos seem to be looking for, an example being Harry Potter. Granted I've only seen most of these films once (and I haven't watched either of the Deathly Hollows yet), but they leave out rather a lot to be desired, in my opinion. There are also plenty of book series thus far untapped by Hollywood that could be fantastic as a TV series. To name a few, Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey, which retells fairy tales in a magical alternate of the early 1900s; Pendragon by D.J. MacHale, about a boy who travels to different worlds to stop the villain from corrupting them into chaos; Joanne Harris' Rune books, which retell and carry on Norse mythology.

If you're going to do something big, why not do something different?

Now, if they were to decide not to do a Lord of the Rings adaption, but instead made a TV series out of the unexplored stories and histories from Middle-earth, like material from The Silmarillion, The Lost Tales, and Beren and Luthien -that I would be interested in.

What do you think about a possible Lord of the Rings TV show?


  1. I would be cautiously interested- I mean what's the worst that could happen, it's bad? We still have the movies. But I'd be skeptical too. How that's for hedging my bets lol? But seriously yeah we don't NEED this since the movies did a great job. I'd love all the attention it would shine all over again though on Lotr the books. What I'd really be interested in is seeing some of the backstory, Unfinished Tales- kinda stuff, adapted, but then you'd have the esoterica and minutia ( to some people) and you lose the popular interest, so guess that wouldn't work...

    1. Yeah, that's basically what I'm going with. We don't need it, but if it happens I'll probably check it out, I just can't help thinking there are so many original, untapped stories out there that could be adapted.