In an interview with Deadline, Salke says that, despite the massive hype surrounding the series, the deal to create it was only finalized recently.
"Lord of the Rings, the deal only closed like a month ago," Salke says. "But in the meantime, I've sat with Simon Tolkien [JRR Tolkien's grandson] for a couple of hours, and (Amazon TV executive) Sharon (Tal Yguado) has spent tons of time with them. She had spent the last couple of months meeting anyone who had said, 'I'm really passionate about it and I want to get in and talk about the show and what's possible.' I think you'll see us honing in on a strategy in the next month, which might involve a group of writers. Clearly, there'll be someone in charge, but it involves the estate and Peter Jackson, and there's a lot of conversations."
As for what Jackson's exact role in the series will be, that's still up for debate.
"The Peter Jackson conversations, right now we're right in the middle of them," Salke reveals. "It's like, how much do you want to be involved, how little? I know there's been some discussion, and he's even said some things, but as far as I'm aware, the latest is that we're just in a conversation with him about how much or how little he would be involved."
While initial reports about the series suggested that it could quickly lead to spinoff series, Salke clarifies that Amazon is only working on "One. At the moment, one big series."
As for what that series will be about, "I think you can know that we're not remaking the movies, but we're also not starting from scratch," Salke says. "So, it'll be characters you love."
Recent rumors suggested that the series will be a prequel focusing on young Aragorn. If true, Aragorn's long lifespan, connections to both the human and elven nobility of Middle-earth, and importance to the struggle against Sauron could easily facilitate appearances by several other key characters from Tolkien's universe, including Gandalf the Grey, Legolas, Elrond, and Arwen.
Are you excited for Amazon's Lord of the Rings television series? Which characters do you most hope to see in the series? Let us know in the comments!