Streaming Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings has been one of the most successful franchises in movie history, so yesterday’s announcement that Amazon Prime will turn the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novels into a TV series probably elicited just one response: What took so long?

In a deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema, Amazon said it had committed to a multi-season series, set in Middle Earth before The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). The deal also includes “potential additional spin-off series.”

The original Lord of the Rings film trilogy from New Line and director Peter Jackson earned 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture for the final entry, The Return of the King (2003). Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings was even named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999.

Amazon didn’t provide a premiere date for its new series, but until then you can revisit – or get introduced to — Middle Earth by renting the first three films of the trilogy from various sites. The most inexpensive source is Fandango Now, where you can find get the first film from $1.99 and the others from $2.99. You can also rent all the films from Amazon, of course.

Speaking of prequels, from 2012 to 2014, New Line released Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – set 60 years before The Lord of the Rings and based on an earlier Tolkien novel. Again, you can only stream the three films by renting from Amazon or other sources, with the best pricing available from Fandango Now.



About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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