Before George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy novels hit it big, perhaps the most definitive epic of that genre (and arguably remains so) is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” And before HBO turned Martin’s “ASOIAF” into “Game of Thrones,” fantasy fans would likely recall more the “LOTR” film trilogy from New Line Cinema and director Peter Jackson. Amazon felt the world of Middle-Earth would make for a good streaming series on their Prime Video service. But a run-through of Amazon’s blurb for the series indicates that it will not adapt the actual “Lord of the Rings” books like the Jackson trilogy did in the 2000s.
According to Indie Wire, actor Elijah Wood, who starred as Frodo Baggins in the New Line Cinema films of 2001-03, the presentation of the setting on Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings” series does not actually sync with the events of the J.R.R. Tolkien books originally written under that label. That however does not turn him, who portrayed the “ring-bearer” Frodo Baggins, from making a cameo on the show if there is opportunity for it.
“They’re calling it ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ but I think that’s slightly misleading,” says Wood, who points out that the series plan to cover events from before the One Ring is given to Frodo means that the production will be taking material from other Middle-Earth books in Tolkien’s “Legendarium.” One volume in particular that could well contain the stories that will be adapted is the “Silmarillion,” which contains some of the bigger world-building tales about the distant past of Middle-Earth and the world that it is located in: Arda.
One thing that Elijah Wood praises about the planned Amazon Prime Video series is its decision of the production posse, namely New Line Cinema, HarperCollins, Amazon Studios and the Tolkien estate, to film in New Zealand, where the movies he starred in were also made. It also seems to be a harbinger of hope that further pre-production could continue, since that country in the southern hemisphere has so far succeeded in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic from making ground over there. And again, Wood is game if the show wants him to cameo, even if he cannot possibly be Frodo again.
“If there was a world where that made sense and was organic to what they’re doing then yes,” remarks the actor. “Look, any excuse to get to go to New Zealand to work on something I am absolutely there.” Prime Video estimates their “Lord of the Rings” series to arrive on streaming sometime in 2021.
Image courtesy of ComingSoon.net