Amazon has found its Lord of the Rings duo.
The Hollywood Reporter released an article that following an extensive search, Amazon Studios has tapped JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4, Jungle Cruise) to develop its forthcoming big-budget take on Lord of the Rings. Jennifer Salke, who made the announcement Saturday during her debut as head of Amazon Studios at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, stopped short of saying Payne and McKay would serve as writers or showrunners.
Amazon, now overseen by new head of TV and film Jennifer Salke, landed global rights to the Lord of the Rings series for the small screen in November 2017 in what sources estimated was a deal worth $250 million with the Tolkien estate. Under the terms of the pact, a Lord of the Rings series must be in production within two years. When casting, set building and visual effects are factored in, the LOTR deal is expected to tally more than $1 billion.
In her first interview since moving from NBC to run Amazon, Salke told The Hollywood Reporter that the LOTR series would be “in production in two years, noting she hoped to have it on the air in 2021 despite wishes from other camps that it would make it by 2020.
“All of us would love a big, addictive show that is executed at the top of its game. We’re really excited about Lord of the Rings,” Salke told THR in June. “We’ve been talking to writers. We have an estate that’s very active. I’ve spent three hours with Simon Tolkien. There’s a lot of moving parts with it. We’ll have some game plan to move forward with very soon.”
We at Nerdbot are excited! Do you want to see a Lord of the Rings TV series? Does it excite you that Star Trek writers are at the helm? Tell us about it in the comments and get the conversation going!