Amazon’s upcoming, monstrous (both literally in that it has monsters and budget/scale-wise in that it’s costing $1 billion to make) Lord of the Rings series is still in the developmental stage, even though we’ve known it’s on the way since last year.
Now, as the team at Amazon looks to find a showrunner, there’s a report that Peter Jackson himself is under consideration to lead the project.
We have confirmed that Amazon is actively reaching out to multiple established writers, directors and showrunners for their visions of the billion dollar LOTR series. Peter Jackson is of course on the list… But one of many currently pitching.
Tag who you want in the mix
— TheOneRing.net (@theoneringnet) May 7, 2018
The Hollywood Reporter mentioned Jackson as well in the piece linked above, which was more about how Amazon ended up with the rights over Netflix in the first place.
As for whether Jackson is involved in the TV series as an executive producer remains to be seen and would be up to him. His attorney Peter Nelson was not a part of the 2017 rights negotiations but recently helped start a dialogue between Jackson and Amazon.”It’s very much a creature of the times,” Nelson says of the Amazon deal. “We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios’ emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles.”
Jackson involved to a degree has always made sense, given that he’s in many ways directly responsible for the value of the property as a series to begin with. (You know, along with Tolkien.) Jackson’s movies still stand as examples of how to bring massive works to the screen, and they remain some of the best fantasy movies of all time, with the box office to match. Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy also did major box office.
And as to why Jackson would consider the workload that would come with shepherding a five-season series, well, his IMDB page is a bit light. He’s made his six LOTR-related films, and King Kong was entertaining when it came out. But he hasn’t exactly found a niche outside of Tolkien’s world. It would certainly be an easier sell for Amazon, too, and it’s possible having Jackson on board would even help keep costs down, just through familiarity with the material and the process for capturing it.
Of course, we’d also lose out on a different perspective on Tolkien’s work, but Jackson’s tone has always felt like a good match for the source material, so that might not be a loss.
But we’ll have to wait and see, but not that long; Amazon’s deal means production has to begin within two years, and that clock started last fall.