The “everything is a sequel or a reboot these days” argument lamenting the fact that there are seemingly no fresh ideas in Hollywood is a lot like the “rock is dead” take in music — it’s an alarmist oversimplification. But then a company like Warner Bros. has to go and announce that they’re making more Lord of the Rings movies, and it suddenly becomes very difficult to make the case against it.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav broke the news during an earnings call on Thursday, announcing that studio heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy have brokered a deal for “multiple” films based on the J. R. R. Tolkien book series. Beyond that, there aren’t many specifics; the publication notes that no filmmakers have been attached to the films yet, but Peter Jackson — who, of course, directed the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy as well as a Hobbit trilogy — and his collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens said in a statement that the Warner Bros. team “have kept us in the loop every step of the way.”
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“We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward,” Jackson, Walsh and Boyens told Variety. Freemode, the company that made the adaptive rights deal for Tolkien’s books also issued a statement of its own about the planned projects.
“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 J.R.R. Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode, wrote. “We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”
Why, though? Does anyone — besides, of course, the people who stand to make a large sum of money off of them — really want more Lord of the Rings movies? Aren’t six installments and the five planned seasons of Amazon’s new massive The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV show enough already? What could these new movies possibly do with the source material that hasn’t already been done ad nauseam?
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