Warner Bros Discovery is planning new films based on JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings books and The Hobbit.
Chief executive David Zaslav, speaking during an earnings call, confirmed that a deal had been brokered to make “multiple” films based on the works over several years.
The announcement comes 20 years after the Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson was released. The movies grossed almost $3bn (£2.5bn) around the world, with the third movie, The Return Of The King, winning 11 Oscars including best picture at the Academy Awards.
The cost of the deal with Embracer Group, the Swedish gaming company that owns the rights to most of Tolkien’s world, has yet to be revealed.
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The films will be developed through the Warner Bros production company New Line Cinema, which produced Peter Jackson’s trilogy between 2001 and 2003.,
Speaking about the new project, the New Zealand director, along with his Lord Of The Rings collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens said in a statement to Variety that “[Warner Bros and Embracer] have kept us in the loop every step of the way” about the new films.
They added: “We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward.”
Lee Guinchard, the chief executive of Embracer 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 JRR Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways.
“We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Pictures, we plan to honour the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”
A timeline for film production or release is yet to be released.
Amazon continues to own the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, and recently launched The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series.
The “Lord of the Rings” announcement builds on Warner Bros Discovery plans to focus on franchise features and recognised IP. It is planning to reinvigorate the DC Comics in the mold of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. DC Studios co-Chairmen James Gunn and Peter Safran last month laid out an ambitious slate of 10 film and television projects that tell a single story that unfolds over eight to 10 years.
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