Lord Of The Rings Is About To Undergo An Enormous Battle, And Only This Side Is Going To Win
Amazon will likely have more success with The Rings of Power than Warner Bros. Discovery will with their upcoming reboot of The Lord of The Rings franchise.
Amazon and Warner Bros. are currently locked in a battle for the production rights of new Lord of the Rings content, and it could get ugly. According to a write-up in The Hollywood Reporter, despite Amazon’s $1 billion investment in the most expensive series ever committed to film, Warner Brothers is still tapping filmmaker Peter Jackson to return for more Lord of the Rings films. Of course, with Amazon’s The Rings of Power performing well against HBO’s recent fantasy series, House of the Dragon, and Peter Jackson’s waning passion for the series, it seems obvious that Warner Bros. Discovery is destined to fail in this endeavor.
Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav has been slashing budgets nonstop since the merger was completed in 2022, causing many hit series to be canceled even after renewal announcements and many legacy shows mysteriously disappeared from the HBO Max catalog. Even with the success of House of the Dragon, the network quietly announced that several of their expected Game of Thrones spinoffs would be cut from production, with very few updates regarding the future of the franchise.
In addition to the existing Lord of the Rings series bringing in droves of viewers, many fans who had been turned off of the franchise after the middling reviews of the Hobbit trilogy returned to watch Amazon‘s The Rings of Power due to its stellar reviews. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was famously butchered by Warner Bros. and Peter Jackson in order to split the single text into three films, simply to fulfill the need of the studio to have a new flagship trilogy to promote. Many fans noted that the films could easily have been condensed into a single film, despite Jackson’s previous entry into the Lord of the Rings franchise being at its best when delivered as a staggering 11.5 combined hours.
Despite Amazon’s crowning achievement as one of the largest corporations in the world, its foray into original content has been less than stellar throughout its run. The streamer has never managed to have a hit quite as large as its competitors, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO’s Game of Thrones, or Disney+’s The Mandalorian. When it was first announced that The Rings of Power, Amazon’s billion-dollar venture into the Tolkien franchise, would be directly competing with House of the Dragon in the ratings, many fans rightfully thought Amazon’s investment had been lost – but even so, Amazon still has a much better shot at success with the franchise.
Even if Warner Bros. Hobbit films had managed to stun audiences, the series was increasingly mired by reports of over-reliance on green screens and CGI technology, causing the films to severely lack the heart and charm of Jackson’s original trilogy. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was known for its incredible New Zealand scenery and its use of forced perspective and practical effects. The Hobbit trilogy, conversely, is best known for putting Benedict Cumberbatch in a hilarious motion capture suit and making Sir Ian McKellen cry.
Will Amazon corner the market on Lord of the Rings content, or simply be forced to go head to head with Warner Bros. Discovery yet again? For now, we’ll just have to wait and see, but it seems unlikely that Warner Bros. Discovery can compete with Amazon after the recent track record of each studio.