Netflix Is Losing The Greatest Movie Trilogy In The History Of Blockbusters

Netflix will not stream the Lord of the Rings trilogy after March 31.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

lord of the rings

Netflix will say goodbye to The Lord of the Rings trilogy on March 31, 2023. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King will still be available on HBO Max. The films that started it all have inspired franchises like The Last of Us and have sparked a new rights war as Warner Bros. Discovery prepares to battle Amazon for Lord of the Rings dominance.

Netflix brought The Lord of the Rings trilogy back to its platform on February 1, but the films’ most recent stay on the streaming service is coming to a quick end. The expiration of the licensing deal comes on the heels of Warner Bros. Discovery’s announcement that the company has new Lord of the Rings movies on the way.

Variety summarized the announcement in February, detailing that new WBD leaders Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy facilitated a deal with Freemode to make the new movies. De Luca and Abdy came to WBD when they left MGM following its acquisition by Amazon, the studio holding the TV rights to Lord of the Rings. The removal of the trilogy from Netflix may be connected to the new war for Lord of the Rings.

netflix lord rings

Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon are now in an odd competition, each putting forth different versions of Lord of the Rings. While Amazon covers the rise of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it is unclear what WBD’s new films will focus on. Some speculate that the studio intends to reboot the original trilogy.

Twenty years after its release, Netflix getting rid of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is still news. That’s because the trilogy retains an impressive fanbase, and rebooting the films would be similar to remaking the original Star Wars trilogy – you just don’t do it. The studio may be up to something else, opting to explore new territory in the vast Lord of the Rings mythos.

Peter Jackson, the director behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, stated that Warner Bros. Discovery has been in contact with him and his key collaborators, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Jackson is not officially attached to direct another Lord of the Rings film, but it appears that the filmmaker will be involved in the new films in some capacity.

Netflix has plenty of popular content without Lord of the Rings in its library, but the loss is still a tough one for Netflix users. The trilogy remains one of the best ever made, though its follow-up Hobbit trilogy, failed to meet expectations. That trilogy departed from what made the original so good, leaning heavily on CGI as opposed to practical effects and real locations.

Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode, helped make the deal for new Lord of the Rings movies happen. He said, “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.”

Production quality is not the only thing Netflix is losing with the original Lord of the Rings films. The trilogy also had a spectacularly told story that adapted three books, while The Hobbit dragged the story of one book unnecessarily across three movies. The folks at WBD claim they are excited to expand upon the potential of the franchise, but fans have been burned by the cash grab before.

Netflix may be losing The Lord of the Rings films, but the world is gaining new ones soon. Where the franchise heads next will be determined in time, but good or bad, it is sure to be an adventure.