LORD OF THE RINGS and HITMAN Series Coming to TV
TV’s awakening, and in some sense surpassing, of movies as audiences’ go-to medium just entered a new phase with the inking of deals to bring a hugely popular fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings, and a best-selling videogame, Hitman, to television platforms.
Tolkien’s Creatures Get a Series
Deadline reports that Amazon signed a $250 million dollar deal just to have the rights to develop a multi-season series of the immensely popular character created by J.R. Tolkien. In an effort to emulate the success of the fantasy series Game of Thrones, the giant bookseller will be teaming up with New Line Cinema, the Warner Bros. division that brought the original films to the big screen, to create a show that could last several years and include spinoffs of its own.
Few details have been released other than the show would be a prequel to the first movie in the franchise, The Fellowship of the Ring. “The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”
Note that the price tag being reported included only the television rights and not any development or productions costs, which could equal those totals. It is one of the largest such deals in the history of TV and it is evidence of Amazon’s faith in the profitability of the project.
Hitman Videogame Heads to Hulu
Meanwhile, not to be undone, the streaming service Hulu has announced its own deal, this one that has it developing a series based on the hit video game Hitman. The game has itself been made into two movies: Hitman from 2007 and Hitman: Agent 47 from 2015. It will be written by director and writer Derick Kolstad, who is behind the John Wick movies and is working on the third installment.
The game has had several editions since its original launch in 2000. It has sold over 25 million copies since then. The story for the gaming platform focuses on the enigmatic Agent 47, a meticulously careful assassin with a mysterious background. The Hitman TV show has no set release date and no further details are known.