Netflix’s MCU-Style Lord Of The Rings Pitch "Freaked Out" The Tolkien Estate
The Rings Of Power has enjoyed critical acclaim but has split long-time Lord of the Rings fans. The show takes place in J.R.R. Tolkien's second age, and some don't agree with how the author's tales have been retold. Things could have been very different though, as Netflix was among many studios that pitched its own unique idea for the show five years ago.
The Hollywood Reporter had the chance to speak with Rings Of Power's showrunners, even getting a peek inside their war room for season two. Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne wanted to help fans better understand how a show of this magnitude has come together, and that story begins in 2017 when the call went out from The Tolkien Estate. A call revealing it was eager for someone to help it create a TV show rooted in the Lord of the Rings universe.
Among the big players that tried to get The Estate on their side were HBO and Netflix. Apparently, HBO's idea was to set the show in the Third Age. To effectively retell the story told via Peter Jackson's trilogy, a project Tolkien's son Christopher infamously despised. Clever, but the idea was shot down. As was Netflix's plan to divvy up the Lord of the Rings universe, MCU-style.
“They took the Marvel approach and that completely freaked out the estate,” an insider revealed. Apparently, the pitch included individual shows telling Aragorn's story, detailing Gandalf's origins, and presumably included a number of other characters even the most casual fans would have recognized instantly. The Tolkien Estate clearly hated that idea, and even though Amazon reportedly offered less for the opportunity to take on the project, Prime's proposal was deemed the best one to go with.
That those initial pitches happened half a decade ago further shows just how much work has gone into making Rings Of Power happen. Despite some of the nitpicking from hardcore fans, it has clearly been an enormous hit for Amazon. Its debut episode was reportedly watched by 25 million people, and filming for season two has already begun.
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