Rings of Power: HBO Wanted to Remake The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Netflix Wanted the "Marvel" Approach

Amazon's Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been a bold gamble on securing a massive franchise IP for the Prime Video streaming service – but apparently, it's not the biggest gamble that was put on the table. In a feature column with The Rings of Power's first-time showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, they revealed insights about some of the wild ideas other studios like Netflix and HBO wanted to do before Amazon pitched The Rings of Power concept.

Netlfix Wanted Lord of the Rings to Go Full MCU

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(Photo: New Line Cinema)

In the interview with THR, McKay and Payne talked about how it was Netflix who originally pitched the jaw-dropping $250 million budget for the Lord of the Rings TV series – not Amazon (who reportedly pitched less). Netflix apparently needed that sort of massive budget, as the streamer "took the Marvel approach" to the Lord of the Rings franchise, according to an insider – a move that was said to have "freaked out" Tolkien's estate. 

While we may never (thankfully) know what Netflix had planned, exactly, it's not hard to infer from the wording of "the Marvel approach." Presumably, Netflix would've produced several different-yet-interconnected series from Tolkien's lore (Gandalf and Aragorn shows were mentioned), thereby creating an entire Lord of the Rings/Tolkien content block for the streamer.

 It's an interesting concept, but it's clear to see why a Marvel Studios comparison might scare the Tolkien estate. Marvel has become a production machine, with a tightly-branded product. It's effective entertainment, but a conveyor belt of content is not something that the Tolkien estate wants for the series. Tolkien's family was openly critical of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, even when it brought Tolkien's works to a global audience, and got both massive box offices and Oscars for its efforts. So, a Marvel approach to Lord of the Rings doesn't seem like it would be up their alley... 

HBO's Lord of the Rings Remake

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(Photo: Warner Bros.)

As for HBO: A plan to remake the Lord of the Rings story as an HBO series looks like it is exactly what HBO would do. After all, HBO has been doing well in re-imagining older IPs like Perry Mason, The Golden Compass, and Westworld into new visions – Lord of the Rings could've run on the network for years. It boggles the mind to think what it would've been like if HBO had ended up with both House of the Dragon and a Lord of the Rings series on its hands. 

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NEXT: Amazon Studios Head Expects "Huge" Viewer Turnout for The Rings of Power Finale

As it stands, the Tolkien estate was swayed by Amazon, and now The Rings of Power is an international hit. It is available to stream on Prime Video.