Fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings is set to return in a very big way with its forthcoming TV series.
Having beaten out the likes of Netflix and HBO, Amazon Studios secured the rights to turn the J. R. R. Tolkien novels into a TV show in a record-breaking deal reaching $250m with the author's estates working alongside New Line Cinema - the studio behind Peter Jackson's trilogy - to bring it to the small screen for a "multi-season commitment."
While details remain unconfirmed, sources are claiming that the first season won't be centred on the War for the Ring and will instead focus on a young Aragorn who was played by Viggo Mortensen in the films.
It will be derived from Tolkien's appendices and notes rather than being a direct adaptation of the novel and will reportedly focus on a different character each season.
So, how long will it run for? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Studios has committed to five seasons with production scheduled to begin at an undetermined time in the next two years. Amazon also confirmed there may be the potential for additional spin-offs in the future.
Certain actors from Jackon's trilogy may have ruled themselves out of appearing (Andy Serkis who played Gollum and Gimli star John Rhys Davis), however, one person who'd be up for returning is Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen.
Speaking on BBC Radio 2 about the series, he hinted that he'd be unhappy if producers were to recast the character.
“What do you mean, another Gandalf?” he told presenter Graham Norton. “I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked [to return]. But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7,000 years old, so I’m not too old.”
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