The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie rights are going on sale this week in Hollywood. J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy novels are nearing the beginning of a new adaption on Amazon Prime Video with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series. The show comes after Peter Jackson brought the Lord of the Rings franchise to Hollywood in the early 2000s with a trilogy revolving around Frodo’s adventure. The director then returned to helm a trilogy of Hobbit movies following Bilbo Baggins.
It’s been nearly eight years since The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hit theaters, and that was the last time the movie franchise was actively in development. Warner Bros. announced last year that the studio was developing an animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. Otherwise, the movie franchise has not been in active development, mostly because Warner Bros. relinquished its live-action rights by not developing a new film adaptation.
According to a report from Variety, Saul Zaentz Co. has decided to sell its stake in Tolkien’s holdings, which includes many movie, merchandising, gaming, and live event rights connected to the Lord of the Rings property. The sale of these rights is expected to take place this week, and it is being reported that Amazon is “at the top of the list of prime candidates” to acquire these rights and expand its ownership of the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Saul Zaentz Co.’s decision to sell the movie rights to Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other entries in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth universe could spark a major bidding war in Hollywood. The company is expected to receive at least $2 billion for each Tolkien property. Amazon’s interest is unsurprising considering the studio’s investment in The Rings of the Power. If Amazon comes out on top of this sale, it would have the ability to produce live-action movies on top of the upcoming TV series. Of course, it is also expected that other major studios will take their shot at getting Lord of the Rings‘ movie rights.
Amazon’s position as the favorite to buy Lord of the Rings and Hobbit‘s rights could drive up the price for other potentially interested studios, such as Warner Bros. Since WB and New Line worked together on Peter Jackon’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and made billions doing so, it would be odd if they didn’t attempt to regain control of the franchise. That said, Warner Bros. might also know that there’s no way a Lord of the Rings reboot would be met favorably, so they could elect to sit out of the bidding and let another studio make that potential mistake. Now that The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit rights are going on sale, studios will likely be aggressive in closing a deal before too long.
More: When The Rings Of Power Were Forged – How Long Before LOTR?
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