Warner Bros. Discovery’s latest business plan? New Lord of the Rings films.
According to Variety, the curiously managed media conglomerate has ordered “multiple” new movies based on the J.R.R. Tolkien books, which originally spawned three pictures and three Hobbit spinoffs. Casting and storylines have yet to be revealed, but new Warner Bros. Discovery leaders Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy said in a statement that the move will allow the production company to explore new aspects of the Tolkienverse.
“For all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two [Lord of the Rings and Hobbit] trilogies, the vast, complex, and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored,” the two said. The films will be distributed under Warner Bros. banner New Line Cinema.
The latest Lord of the Rings spinoff is The Rings of Power, the Prime Video series set thousands of years before the events in Tolkien’s books. (Its setting in that time period isn’t an accident — it’s a result of the complicated rights deal that Amazon struck with the Tolkien estate to adapt ancillary materials related to Middle-earth’s Second Age.)
Since merging, Warner Bros. Discovery has gutted notable Batman projects, postponed Aquaman and Shazam sequels, and revived Constantine — all while announcing a price hike for HBO Max subscribers and canceling — then reviving — Discovery+’s standalone streaming service. Clearly, the company is still finding its footing, and what better way to make some money in the meantime than to engage — or reengage — legions of fantasy fans?