'Lord of the Rings' TV Series in the Works

J.R.R. Tolkien estate and Warner Bros. shopping new series based on epic fantasy novel, with Amazon Studios the reported frontrunner

A television series based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' is in the works, with Amazon Studios reportedly the frontrunner to acquire it. Credit: New Line

A television series based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is currently in the works, with Amazon Studios reportedly the frontrunner to bring the classic fantasy novel to the small screen.

Variety reports that the Tolkien estate has been shopping a new series about the 1954 novel to networks with help from Warner Bros. Television; the production company is also the home of New Line Cinema, which distributed director Peter Jackson's big-screen Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also reportedly involved in attempting to acquire the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the Warner Bros. and Tolkien estate partnership comes four months after the two sides resolved a five-year, $80 million lawsuit regarding profit participation (and slot machines) over the studio's Tolkien films.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety add that the project, which would likely take a Game of Thrones approach to the subject matter, is a long way from being officially announced, with no writer or director yet on board to reinterpret Tolkien's epic.

Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy combined for nearly $3 billion at the box office when it was released in three installments – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King – between 2001 and 2003. All three films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, with The Return of the King ultimately winning that award along with Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and eight more Oscars.

A Jackson-directed trilogy dedicated to Tolkien's The Hobbit followed from 2012 to 2014.