Behold The Lord of the Rings fans, more stories from middle earth are on the horizon! Warner Bros Discovery and New Line Cinema have struck a new multiyear agreement with Embracer Group AB’s Middle-Earth Enterprises to team up on new movies from the franchise. WBD President and CEO David Zaslav made the announcement during the company’s call to discuss its Q4 2022 earnings results, though the news doesn’t come as a surprise given the new CEO has committed to bringing more franchises on screen.
Peter Jackson’s original The Lord of the Rings trilogy garnered 17 Oscars including 11 in 2004 for the finale, The Return of the King, tying the record for a single film. The studio re-teamed with Jackson for a trilogy of films based on The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings franchise takes fans into the mystical world of J.R.R. Tolkien full of elves, hobbits, and humans. On its own, the franchise has layers and layers of storytelling opportunities with a plethora of interesting characters and mythology that mystifies viewers.
Lee Guinchard, CEO of Embracer Group’s operative group Freemode, said in a statement, “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.” He further added that the makers understand “how cherished these works are” and the studio’s plan to “honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”
Tolkien’s Middle-Earth Universe Remains Largely Unexplored
Speaking of the new collaboration Warner Bros Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy said, “Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters, and world of The Lord of the Rings on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans.” Further noting,
“But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor.”
It is to be noted that in a separate TV rights deal battle in 2018, Amazon beat out Netflix for the rights with the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins and New Line. The streamer has made a five-season commitment to bring Lord of the Rings to the streaming service, which resulted in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Meanwhile, Middle-earth Enterprises owns exclusive worldwide motion pictures, games, merchandising, stage, and other rights in certain Tolkein literary works including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
No further details about the project are known yet so watch out for this space for further development.
Nice, I’m psyched!