Amazon Studios made a huge leap forward in their quest to create high fantasy shows/films for their streaming service, and it looks like Lord of the Rings may have been the tip of that Mt. Doom-sized iceberg.
In an additional content announcement regarding the Amazon acquisition of global TV rights for an Iain M. Banks Consider Phlebas TV series adaptation, there were some other big properties mentioned.
About halfway down in the Deadline writeup of the Banks news, there is this drop of information:
“As part of the effort, Amazon made a mega deal for a Lord Of the Rings TV series and is developing a slew of high-profile titles, including The Dark Tower, Wheel of Time, Ringworld, Lazarus and Snow Crash”
This answers several questions about the fate of the Dark Tower show, which originally HBO was developing before the 2017 Columbia Pictures film (which ultimately resulted in a disappointing box office). The original Stephen King series would probably do best as a TV series, as the internal history of the Crimson King and gunslingers really needs room to breathe.
Bloody Disgusting puts forth the bit of supposition that former The Walking Dead head Glen Mazzara is on board as showrunner for The Dark Tower.
The Wheel of Time acquisition is interesting too. Perhaps you’ll recall the strange affair of the mysterious pilot that appeared back in 2015 in the wee hours of the morning on FXX. That turned into its own kettle of fish, with a bid to maintain the rights for the property and a surprised reaction from Robert Jordan’s wife, and subsequent legal issues.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony producer Frederick “Ted” Field was planning some “big announcements” regarding the Wheel of Time TV series following the success of his Jumanji reboot film, and we’re surmising maybe this Amazon deal was the news.
Larry Niven‘s Ringworld is interesting too, and really shows how far out Amazon Studios is planning their deep dive into high fantasy offerings.
Hopefully we’ll get some additional information on these announcements in the coming weeks.