Warner Bros. and New Line have announced a new multiyear deal with rights holders Embracer Group AB, which will allow the studios to develop more movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit.
This comes 20 years after the release of Peter Jackson’s epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which won a whopping 17 Oscars, including 11 for the final film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films in total grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide, making them one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.
In a statement, Jackson and his Lord of the Rings partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens expressed their awareness of the development, saying they "look forward to speaking with [Warners and Embracer Group] further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward."
“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,” Lee Guinchard, CEO of Embracer Group’s operative group Freemode, said in 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.”
“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,” Warner Bros Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy said. “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.”
An upcoming anime movie, "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim," is being produced by New Line and Warner Bros Animation. It is set 183 years prior to the events of "The Lord of the Rings" and follows the story of the House of Helm Hammerhand, the iconic King of Rohan. Fans can expect to see the film in theaters on April 12, 2024.
In 2018, Amazon secured the TV rights for "The Lord of the Rings" in a deal worth approximately $250 million, winning out over Netflix and competitors for the rights from the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line. As part of the deal, Amazon committed to producing five seasons of the series for their streaming service. The resulting show, titled "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," premiered on Prime Video in September 2022.