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Peter Jackson Was Ghosted By Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings Series

One does not simply offer to send Peter Jackson a Lord of the Rings TV show script and leave the man hanging.

The Oscar-winning director of the LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies said he was promised to be sent scripts from the Lord of the Rings: Rings Of Power TV series and get him on-board. Amazon never contacted him again (via Hollywood Reporter).

“They asked me if I wanted to be involved — [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script’. So they said, ‘As soon as we get the first couple of scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is fine. No complaints at all.”

Despite this, Jackson will still watch the LOTR TV series.

“I’ll be watching it. I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer. [Amazon is] betting the farm on Tolkien.”

It seems like they are, given the show’s massive half-billion US dollar budget. What did Amazon say to all this? Here’s the official comment:

“In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films. We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”

The backstory behind this is legally tricky. As much as the Rings of Power showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are fans of the LOTR movie adaptations and Peter Jackson, they and Amazon have legal concerns about keeping the films and TV show separate since the former is owned by Warner Bros.

The TV show also had tons of executive changes, with ex-genre of programming Sharon Tal Yguado departing the company in 2019; she was the one who advocated luring Peter Jackson to the project. The J.R.R. Tolkien estate were against having Jackson on board, as Christopher Tolkien slammed the trilogy for “eviscerating” his father’s books. And somehow the estate is fine with the US$250 million they got from Amazon just for the LOTR rights alone for this:

The LOTR: The Rings of Power Amazon TV show will be out on 2nd September.

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