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Hollywood is Really Determined to Mine ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Deeply and Greedily

4 Minute Read
Mar 10 2023
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Hollywood is clearly set on getting everything they can out of the goldmine of The Lord of The Rings. Will it be for good or for evil?

After a few years of being relatively quiet, The Lord of the Rings is back with a vengeance. Not only is the most expensive TV show of all time set in the IP, but now we’re getting new movies. Like the Dwarves of Moria, Hollywood studios are mining for gold. They seem set to leave no Lord of the Rings stone unturned in their quest for new stories. However, digging this deeply and this greedily rarely leads to good results.

After the Return

via New Line


Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a masterpiece. I love it. It was met with widespread critical and popular acclaim. It was a finical success as well. But it completed the story. Of course, Hollywood couldn’t let that lie and needed to mine the IP for more. However, as much as everyone loves The Lord of The Rings, few would argue with the fact that after Return of the King, there has been a decline in the quality of the new movies and shows.

Each successive Hobbit movie was worse than the last. The Rings of Power is a real mixed bag. As time goes on the movies and shows are getting worse, not better.

Hollywood Continues to Mine The Lord of the Rings With New Stuff

Season 1 of The Rings of Power wasn’t the end. The show has already been renewed for more seasons with one likely to come out this year. In addition, Warner Bros. has been working on an animated film called The Lord of the Rings: The War of the RohirrimInstead of a totally new story, this would cover the life of Helm Hammerhand. On top of these two projects, Warner Bros. has recently announced that they are going to be making several new Lord of the Rings movies. Despite the fact that we haven’t gotten a really good story in the setting in 20 years Hollywood really wants to put out a product. The next few years seem set to see a positive glut of movies coming out.

What Stories are They Telling?

The two most popular and fleshed-out stories in the setting have already been covered. Indeed even The Hobbit wasn’t fleshed out enough apparently, as they felt the need to add a bunch of new material. With those covered, it’s not really clear what these new movies are going to be about. Now they could be remakes, but that would be a massive mistake. So instead they are going to be what? Movies mining even more obscure parts of the LotR lore? Who is that for? Or are they going to be original stories set in the LotR setting? If so, Valar help us.

How Would Tolkien Feel About This Hollywood Mining Operation?

Not that it matters all that much, him being dead and all, but I can’t help but think Tolkien wouldn’t be too happy with what’s going on. After all, he only felt that two of the histories were really worth being published. The Silmarillion and the various other lost and unfinished tales were all published after his death. Only The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings represent stories he was really happy with. It feels like he would be a bit unhappy with other people adding half-baked ideas into his lore. 


Maybe We Should Just Let the Balrog Sleep

via Easton Press

I dunno. Maybe we don’t need more The Lord of the Rings movies or shows? We’ve told the stories. The best ones have been covered. It was done right. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to move on. I’d rather have real original stories out of Hollywood than desecrate the body of Tolkien’s work by attaching increasingly subpar works to it. Eventually, the vein will run dry. The precious resource will be trashed. A loved and powerful setting will get diluted with dreck.

via William Morrow (publisher)

But maybe I’m overly cynical. Maybe Hollywood’s mining of The Lord of the Rings is fine. Maybe Warner Bros. will adapt one of the obscure stories that I like. Even if they don’t do this they could have a compelling story to tell.  It’s possible they will even make a good movie. Or movies. I suppose we could be on the cusp of a golden age of Lord of the Rings movies and shows. After all, mining things too deeply and too greedily has worked out well in the past.

Let us know what you think about the idea of new Lord of the Rings stuff, down in the comments! 


Author: Abe Apfel
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