‘Multiple’ new Lord of the Rings movies announced by Warner Bros

‘The vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by JRR Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film,’ studio heads say

Tom Murray
Thursday 23 February 2023 23:19 GMT
Lego reveal 6,000-piece Lord of the Rings Rivendell set

Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced “multiple” new Lord of the Rings movies have been brokered on Thursday (23 February).

In an earnings call, Zaslav said new studio leaders Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy will return to Middle Earth for more movies inspired by JRR Tolkien’s famous trilogy.

The projects will be developed through Warner Bros’ studio New Line Cinema, which produced Peter Jackson’s $3bn-grossing trilogy of the early 2000s.

While Amazon owns the TV rights to Tolkien’s work, Swedish company Embracer Group bought the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, games, merchandise, theme parks and live productions in 2022.

“Following our recent acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, we’re thrilled to embark on this new collaborative journey with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, bringing the incomparable world of JRR Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Embracer Freemode.

“We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honour the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”

Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (Pierre Vinet/New Line/Saul Zaent)

In a separate statement, De Luca and Abdy teased a breakaway from the stories told by Jackson in the first trilogy.

“Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of The Lord of the Rings on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans,” they said.

“But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by JRR Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honour, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure.”

It’s not clear when fans can expect anything to materialise on screen at this time.

King Theoden star Bernard Hill recently lampooned Amazon’s Rings of Power series, saying Jackson’s trilogy should have “completely” put an end to future Tolkien adaptations.

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