Series said to outstrip Game of Thrones
Amazon’s acquisition of the television rights of the Tolkien fantasies promises to wash up profitably on New Zealand’s shores.
The objective is to create another television hit to rival Game of Thrones.
Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate trustees has involved New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which was involved in Sir Peter Jackson’s Tolkien series.
Having acquired the rights, Amazon is under no pressure to start production. So there is no indication yet the degree to which, if at all, Sir Peter’s various special effects enterprises in the Wellington suburb of Miramar will be involved in the Amazon re-pressing of the Tolkien saga.
The Murdoch family controlled publisher Harper Collins is involved with the deal indicating that there will be massive publishing collateral to the television deal.
This will be reinforced in the legacy media because Amazon also controls the point of view newspaper the Washington Post.
Not entirely good news for the Miramar artisan fantasy factories is the strong indication that Amazon intends making the new Tolkien television series at its own studios.
The extent to which consortium member New Line will go into bat for subcontracting at Miramar may be influenced by issues that arose subsequent to their film version of LOTR.
Whatever the fine print the big benefit for New Zealand will be in the value to the Pacific nation of the refresh button being pushed on the LOTR syndrome.
This includes the intricate tourist destination map built around the original wide screen series, and the reflective value on the nation’s national carrier Air New Zealand which in terms of livery has quite literally draped itself in LOTR symbolism.
The Amazon deal has come as a surprise to LOTR fans, and indeed to many of those inside the industry itself who had assumed that television rights were wrapped up in the original New Zealand production.