Get ready for more The Lord of the Rings content hitting the big screen in the coming years.
Per Deadline, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. have closed a multi-year deal with Embracer Group AB’s Middle-Earth Enterprises that will see the studios develop new The Lord of the Rings theatrical movies. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced the agreement on Thursday during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call. The deal comes 20 years after the final installment in Peter Jackson’s epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy — 2003’s The Return of the King — hit theaters.
“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,” said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Embracer Group’s operative group Freemode, in a statement. “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.”
Now, this is very important to note, but Warner Bros. and New Line only have the rights for films, games, stage productions and merchandise based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Amazon still holds the TV rights for The Lord of the Rings, which it paid roughly $250 million for in 2018. What does it have to show for it? Well, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which debuted on Prime Video in September 2022.
“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,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy. “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, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure.”
New Line and Warner Bros. Animation are currently in production on The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, an original anime film set 183 years before the events in The Lord of the Rings. The movie, which tells the fate of the House of Helm Hammerhand, the legendary King of Rohan, is set to open theatrically on April 12, 2024.
Oh, by the way, Peter Jackson and his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have teased that they may be involved with the new films. “Warner Brothers and Embracer have kept us in the loop every step of the way,” the Oscar-winning trio told Deadline. “We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward.”
What do you think about more Lord of the Rings films? Interested?