The cast from 'The Lord of the Rings' movie series. The cast from 'The Lord of the Rings' movie series. Will anyone from the cast of 'The Lord of the Rings' movie return for the TV series? (Photo: New Line Cinema)

'Lord of the Rings' TV series hopes to be the new 'Game of Thrones'

Amazon vying to be the home of new genre-defining shows.

With HBO set to air the final season of "Game of Thrones," fans of the dramatic fantasy series will soon have to look elsewhere for their weekly fix of magic and mayhem. Thankfully, it appears a new contender is arriving just in time.

Amazon is making a TV adaptation of the popular "Lord of the Rings" books and movies.

The move falls in line with a broader strategy by Amazon. Earlier last year year, Bezos brought on board Sharon Tal Yguado to help run the company's TV division with the goal of producing more genre-defining shows with mass appeal and an international audience. By all accounts, the Israeli Tal Yguado – who studied at both New York University and Tel Aviv University – seems to have the pedigree Bezos is looking for. After all, she was one of the masterminds behind TV's most popular cable drama – "The Walking Dead."

"The Walking Dead," about a zombie apocalypse, is one of the most popular shows on cable. Amazon's Sharon Tal Yguado helped create "The Walking Dead." (Photo: AMC Networks)

While the deal for "The Lord of the Rings" is being ironed out, Tal Yguado is already spearheading a new superhero drama for Amazon called "The Boys." Based on a popular comic book series, the story revolves around a team of vigilantes that take down corrupt superheroes. Comedic actor Seth Rogen is on board the project as well. “In a landscape saturated with superhero shows, 'The Boys' is the next evolution in this popular genre,” said Tal Yguado.

It's unclear if the Amazon version of "The Lord of the Rings" will mimic what's in the book and movie series or if it will be a spinoff that simply takes place somewhere in the "Rings" universe. This would be a similar approach to "Fear the Walking Dead," a show that takes place on the West Coast, while the action on the original "Walking Dead" happens on the opposite side of the country. And unlike "Game of Thrones," all of the "Lord of the Rings" books have already been written. Its author, British novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, passed away in 1973.

Elijah Wood (left) and Sean Astin (right) in a scene from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Elijah Wood (left) and Sean Astin (right) in a scene from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. (Photo: New Line Cinema)

Most insiders are saying that the story will focus on a young Aragorn. The character, who led the Fellowship of the Ring following the loss of Gandalf in the Mines of Moria, was portrayed by Danish actor Viggo Mortensen in the films. These kinds of "origin" stories are all the rage in Hollywood now; case in point is the new Star Wars movie about a young Hans Solo.

Actor Sean Astin, who played a pivotal role in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, suggested another possible storyline for the TV series in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “The Mines of Moria are referred to a lot in 'Lord of the Rings,'” Astin said. “And I guess in the 'Hobbit' trilogy, you spent a little time with them, but the culture of the dwarves in the mines… I would love to see like five hours of that.”

Astin added that he wasn't surprised that this day would eventually come. “I’ve been saying for 15 years that maybe like 12 years after 'Lord of the Rings' came out, that it would get remade," he said. "And people always said, ‘Oh no, it’ll never get remade! It’s a classic! They could never top it!’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll get remade. It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved.’”


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