The newest TV installment from Middle Earth is headed to Amazon.
Amazon Studios — in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema — will produce a new "The Lord of the Rings" TV series, the company announced Monday. Amazon acquired multiseason, global television rights to the project. The show will be available for Amazon Prime members.
The series will be a prequel to the J.R.R. Tolkien book "The Fellowship of the Ring," and is based on new story lines. There is also potential for spinoffs. The financial terms and series release timing were not disclosed, although a Deadline report said Amazon paid close to $250 million just for the rights without any production costs. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the price.
The race for acquisition of premium franchises is tightening, as more tech companies and streaming platforms acquire content.
Netflix has had a long-standing relationship with Marvel, and acquired comic book company Millarworld in August. (Though Disney is pulling its Marvel movies off Netflix in 2019, the joint Netflix-Marvel TV show productions will remain.) Meanwhile, earlier reports said Amazon and Apple were bidding for the "James Bond" franchise, along with traditional entertainment companies.