Peter Jackson, the man most closely identified with New Line's The Lord of the Rings film franchise, may be returning to Middle Earth yet again. This time, though, he would not be singularly responsible for the action.
Jackson, who thought he was finished after Return of the King and had originally planned for his friend Guillermo del Toro to direct the two movies based on The Hobbit, found himself behind the camera for what eventually became a trilogy after del Toro left just before production could begin.
Amazon Studios paid $250 million for the rights to the book, which much go into production within two years and has a five-season commitment baked into the deal. The expectation is that the whole thing will cost almost $1 billion, according to THR, and so it would make sense that Amazon might like to have somebody on board who can provide a little advice as to how to spend that money wisely.
Jackson was not directly involved in the negotiations, but his lawyer Peter Nelson was apparently key to the process.
"It's very much a creature of the times," Nelson told THR. "We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios' emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles."
The report says that there have been no official talks with Jackson but that taking a role in the project would be "up to him."
With an entirely new set of players involved behind the scenes, it seems unlikely most of the actors from The original Lord of the Rings trilogy would be revisiting the content this time around. Still, the fact that the films remain landmark Hollywood blockbusters that spawned a second trilogy of hugely successful Hobbit films means cameo appearances by a few of the actors who might be willing would surprise almost no one.