The Lord of the Rings movie franchise made incredible amounts of money. Theatrical, television, home entertainment, and licensing revenue generated billions upon billions of dollars. No shocks exist that production teams are pitching a prequel television series. What may be shocking, immensely shocking, would be the fact that HBO passed on the series.
Or, perhaps, HBO did the right thing by choosing to pass on the series. Lord of the Rings, while different from Game of Thrones, cannot help but be compared to the George R.R. Martin fantasy series. “Fantasy” is the key word here. Both Lord of the Rings and GOT are rooted firmly in the fantasy genre. With Game of Thrones entering its final season, fans would assume HBO wants a new fantasy series on its schedule. So do the executives at HBO, which is why the development teams at the pay channel giant are working on a Game of Thrones spinoff series.
Ironically, HBO chose not to produce the Warner Bros./New Line Cinema Lord of the Rings TV program because HBO doesn’t want to work with licensed programs or with someone else’s intellectual property. Game of Thrones is both licensed and another individual’s intellectual property. So is Westworld. Maybe HBO doesn’t want to handle any more licensed works in the future. In truth, Game of Thrones wasn’t exactly a hot property. Westworld certainly wasn’t.
Lord of the Rings stands as something completely different. Again, the property generated billions of dollars and continues to generate revenue from a variety of sources. That gives those who hold the license(s) a lot more clout in negotiations. HBO may not want to deal with all the headaches that go with such licensing agreements. Considering how successful the company is, there’s no reason for HBO to do anything it doesn’t wish to do.
Fans of Lord of the Rings do not need to lament HBO’s decision. The series has been greenlighted somewhere else. Amazon’s streaming service shall be the new home of the Lord of the Rings series. Amazon absolutely would benefit from a successful Lord of the Rings franchise on its roster. Amazon’s streaming service has delivered some critical hits, but the service hasn’t exactly been a financial windfall. The huge following for the Lord of the Rings franchise could very well change all that.