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The One Ring.Net announced on Twitter today that they heard from multiple sources the new television show will focus on the young Aragorn.

Rumors say that Peter Jackson is still deciding whether he wants to be involved with the production.
Not a terrible choice, although I’d still love to see First Age adaptations instead.
I am pretty sure they want to play it safe with the first series and stay close to the main story lines. When you invest $1 billion in a new franchise you probably want to check off all the formulaic markers for success. is polling whether the series will open with "The Corruption of Saruman" or "The Re-taking of Moria". Two interesting, non-Aragorn-centric ideas.
"Characters you love" could include Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Elrond, and Bilbo. In fact, I am seeing some Legolas rumors on the Web this week (although I think they are unbridled fan speculation).

They could follow a teen Aragorn, before he meets Arwen. Not sure how much fun that would be.
Maybe Aragon had another love before Arwen. They could have been friends.
Maybe what would work is a relationship with a female character who is a competitor to Arwen. She falls in love with Aragorn and he cannot decide if he should allow his heart to turn her way. That could lead to a great tragedy somewhere near the end of the show, or it could lead to a strong friendship after she finds someone else.

But I hope they don't create a love interest for Aragorn. I would rather they keep Arwen in the background and maybe let some other characters bring in the inevitable romance sub-plot.
Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series might offer some hints as to how they could treat the Tolkien properties. In the case of the Jack Ryan tv series, we have Clancy’s characters (with some alterations convenient to the plot...Cathy Ryan n�e Muller is now an epidemiologist rather than an ophthalmologist...which is convenient to the Ebola subplot currently developing a few episodes in for example) but the plot is totally unrelated to the published books, except in general theme (espionage thriller). The books lay out a professional and personal history of Ryan over a couple of decades. That is largely discarded for the tv show. The feel is very James Bond character-driven and not intended to tie into the other works.

I really hope they don’t do this with the Tolkien property, but it’s easy to see it happening.
So as people will see in this thread, Amazon has already produced some sort of teaser footage they showed at the 2019 Series Mania festival in Lille, France on March 27. I don't know what was in the teaser other than what is described at the end.
Latest news is that:
  • The show will be primarily filmed in New Zealand
  • Some work will be done in Scotland
  • Some sort of preproduction work has been underway in New Zealand for about a year
  • There will be a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game associated with or based on the show
Some new details are here

Quote:The estate of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has banned Amazon, home of the new Lord of the Rings TV series, from altering or replicating stories already told in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. 

Tom Shippey, a Tolkien scholar who has been brought on to supervise the forthcoming series, revealed to German fansite Deutsche Tolkien that the estate has refused the series to be set anywhere other than “The Second Age” of Middle Earth, meaning the time prior to the “Third Age” depicted in the films. The Second Age lasted for over 3,000 years and culminated in the first demise of Sauron. “Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something [to the Second Age], since… very few details are known about this time span,” Shippey said. “The Tolkien estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered......

“But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain ‘tolkienian’.” Shippey also added that even the “First Age” of Middle Earth is “off-limits” to the new TV series as little of it was revealed by Tolkien himself, suggesting “it’s a bit of a minefield – you have to tread very carefully.” Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is believed to be entering production in 2020, though the streaming site has yet to confirm an official release date.

I see that Shippey is an actual academic.   One bio says:

Quote:Thomas Alan Shippey (born 9 September 1943) is a British scholar and retired professor of Middle and Old English literature, as well as medievalism and modern fantasy and science fiction. In particular he is widely considered one of the world's leading academic scholars on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien about whom he has written several books and many scholarly papers.
Shippey as a consultant is a very encouraging development. He is extremely highly regarded as a Tolkien expert.
I guess it's not unusual - police procedurals have former cops and investigators as consultants, Big Bang Theory had physicists, etc. But still cool that they are using him. And very cool that they are turning to him rather than, say, the winner of the Fresno-Con Middle Earth Trivia Tournament. Wink
I probably could have won that trivia tournament. 😀 I have a Tolkien trivia game that has easy, medium, and hard multiple choice questions to try to handicap players with different levels of knowledge. My family required my answers to be given without hearing the choices, and still quickly quit playing with me. But Shippey is on an entirely different level.
(August 15th, 2019, 07:54 AM)august Wrote: [ -> ]I guess it's not unusual - police procedurals have former cops and investigators as consultants, Big Bang Theory had physicists, etc. But still cool that they are using him. And very cool that they are turning to him rather than, say, the winner of the Fresno-Con Middle Earth Trivia Tournament. Wink

What is significant about Shippey's (even limited) involvement is that he has close ties to the Tolkien Estate.

When the people at Weta asked me if I was interested in being their elf language expert I had to turn them down, but only because I'm not qualified for that kind of work.

I gave them 4 names. The first 3 people on my list turned them down because they were all closely connected to the Tolkien Estate. They were afraid they would lose access to restricted materials if they helped with the movies.

The 4th person on my list was under no such restriction ...
Here some more news . Hopefully, the latest news about this new TV series.
TheOneRing.Net reported a couple of weeks ago that the writing team had been let go. This was speculation based on comments some of the writers had made on social media.

It appears that "Season 1" will consist of 2-3 episodes and no more, so Amazon appears to be playing semantics. But then their made-for-Amazon seasons tend to be short anyway.

Meanwhile, thanks to the Covid-19 crisis, production on the show in New Zealand has now shut down completely.
That is an interesting but sensible development. I'm still not convinced Amazon really knows how long a "season" should be.

But at least this way the characters may not change radically between seasons. Possibly. That often happens on shows, where people take a few months off and come back to characters who have been taken in different directions.
Some recent news stories, just to help keep this thread up to date.

TechRadar: The Lord of the Rings TV show on Amazon Prime Video just added 20 cast members

ScreenRant: Viggo Mortensen Weighs in on Amazon’s Upcoming Lord of the Rings TV Show

GameSpot: Amazon's Lord Of The Rings TV Show Reportedly Finishes Filming
"Still no release date or official trailer just yet, unfortunately."

PC Gamer: Amazon's Lord of the Rings MMO likely coming in 2022
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