Why Rings Of Power May Not Acknowledge Peter Jackson’s LOTR Movies


Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power director JA Bayona explains how the show took inspiration from Jackson’s movies, but may never acknowledge them.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power director JA Bayona explains how the show took inspiration from Peter Jackson’s movies and why they may never acknowledge them. Released in 2001-2003 as an epic adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s seminal Lord of the Rings novel, Jackson’s cinematic trilogy revolutionized fantasy on the big screen and set the bar incredibly high for future adaptations, which even Jackson himself was unable to live up to with his subsequent hobbit trilogy. Since then, Jackson has moved on from Middle-earth with various other projects.

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Premiering September 2 on Prime VideoRings of Power will be Amazon’s first foray into Middle-earth. The tech company purchased the television rights to Lord of the Rings in 2017 for $250 million and immediately made a 5-season commitment to Rings of Power worth a whopping $1 billion in production costs, making it the most expensive TV series ever made. Star Trek Beyond writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay were brought on as showrunners alongside Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s JA Bayona as director of the first two episodes. Unlike Jackson’s direct adaptations, Rings of Power is based on the Lord of the Rings appendices penned by Tolkien which include discussion of the Second Age. Considering their love for Jackson’s movies, Rings of Power‘s creatives still looked to them for inspiration.


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During a recent interview with SFX magazine (through Games Radar), Bayona further discussed how they looked to Jackson’s movies for inspiration. The goal early on, according to the director, was to “establish a bridge between the show and the movies,” but they soon found themselves “unconsciously disconnecting from the movies” in order to tell their own standalone story. Read what Bayona said below:

We all love what Peter Jackson did and at the very beginning, we thought about establishing some kind of a bridge between the show and the movies. But then, as you realize the complexity of each world, you get invested in your own story. Then, unconsciously, you start to create something that has its own life. The bar was set very high, and I’m glad that Amazon had the ambition of going there – I tried to at least match what Peter Jackson did – but the more we were working with the characters and the story, the more we were unconsciously disconnecting from the movies.

Bayona’s comments are a good indication Rings of Power won’t acknowledge the Lord of the Rings movies in any substantial way. Perhaps this is also an explanation why Rings of Power never consulted with Jackson. According to a stipulation in Amazon’s deal with the Tolkien Estate, Rings of Power cannot technically be considered a direct prequel to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, but given Payne, McKay, and Bayona’s admiration for Jackson’s cinematic wonders, they couldn’t help but evoke his films with similar production design and other creative choices.

while Rings of Power has become substantially more distant from Jackson’s movies than originally intended, the show will still largely function as a prequel, even though rights issues prevent it from being one in name. The series will explore multiple Middle-earth origin stories such as the forging of the fabled rings of power and rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, not to mention the return of younger versions of Galadriel and Elrond. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is shaping up to be an absolute treat for Tolkien fans.

Source: SFX magazine (via Games Radar)

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