It may have been 17 years since the first movie installment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but Amazon has announced a record setting deal to expand the Middle Earth universe in a multiseason television series exclusively for Amazon Prime. This new series is set to take place before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, but will not be an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous prequel The Silmarillion. Unlike how complete C.S. Lewis wrote Chronicles of Narnia, his friend J.R.R. Tolkien never stopped expanding upon the history and legends of Middle Earth in poems and stories which remained mostly incomplete before his death. In addition to The Silmarillion there have been several other Lord of the Rings prequels posthumously published by his son Christopher Tolkien including The Children of Hurin and most recently Beren and Lúthien. If these stores do not provide enough opportunity to explore the vast history of Middle Earth, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy showed just how far a filmmaker could stretch the shortest Middle Earth story into a nearly nine hour long film trilogy. The upcoming Middle-Earth TV Series from Amazon will give Narnia Fans something else to look forward to while waiting for the production of The Silver Chair.
This record breaking TV deal is an example of how streaming media platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu are developing larger and more elaborate Internet exclusive TV programming. Could The Chronicles of Narnia be next? Many Narnia Fans have beloved the classic BBC Television series that adapted the first four books of The Chronicles of Narnia (1988-1990). Even before this there was a 1967 Black and White TV series of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Disney CEO Bob Iger has discussed plans to start a Disney web streaming service next year after removing Disney films from Netflix.
“We’re building direct-to-consumer Disney service. We’ve had a good relationship with Netflix…We had a deal that gave us the option to move our films from the Netflix platform to somewhere else — Starting with a calendar year 2019 slate and that’s what we’re doing.”
The first two Narnia movies were released by Disney and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by 20th Century Fox. Recently Disney has begun an acquisition of 20th Century Fox which includes a controlling share of Hulu. It seems like a Narnia TV Series would be a perfect fit for Hulu or the new Disney streaming service.
What do you think about the upcoming Lord of the Rings Amazon TV Series announcement? Would you like to see The Chronicles of Narnia adapted to a web TV Series? Share your thoughts in the comments or on the Dancing Lawn Forum.
Winter 2018 Newsletter of the C.S. Lewis Society of California: http://www.lewissociety.org/logos/logos_2017_12_22.php#i5
Bob Iger Interview with CNBC after 2017 Q3 Earnings: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/08/bob-iger-interview-with-cnbc-after-q3-2017-earnings-full-transcript.html