Amazon has committed to produce multiple seasons of a new television series based on the epic fantasy novel.
The production budget will likely add another $100-$150 million a season - but Amazon is seen as having deep pockets, as chairman Jeff Bezos has challenged his creative teams to come up with a prestigious fantasy series to rival "Game Of Thrones".
Amazon.com Inc has bought the global television rights to "The Lord of the Rings", the company said on Monday, in what may be its biggest and most expensive move yet to draw viewers to its streaming and shopping club Prime.
"The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen", Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series for Amazon Studios, said in a public statement.
Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and others, the three films combined to gross more than United States dollars 2.9 billion worldwide.
For everybody who has felt deprived over the years because the last instalment of The Lord of the Rings franchise came out nearly five years ago, Amazon has some really brilliant news.
The series underscores a shift in Amazon's video programming. Though it attracted great reviews it did not result in a hike in Amazon Prime subscribers, at least not in all of its target audiences around the world.
The upcoming series will be available for Prime members globally. The news was met with a mixed reception from fans of JRR Tolkien's books and the original film trilogy, with one writing: "As a huge #Tolkien fan.not sure if I should be excited or horrified at new Lord of the Rings series announcement", while another added: "I'm not watching the "Lord of the Rings" show if you're bringing in new actors to play the characters". "That's a departure from shows like "Transparent" and "Catastrophe".