Netflix and HBO almost took us back to Middle-Earth’s Third Age instead of The Rings of Power.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Rings of Power wasn’t the only Lord of the Rings show pitched to the Tolkien estate.
HBO essentially pitched a remake of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the Tolkien estate was reportedly uninterested in a do-over. As for Netflix, they pitched several shows, including a Gandalf series and an Aragorn drama.
“They took the Marvel approach,” an insider told THR. “And that completely freaked out the estate.”
Every Major Player in the Premier Episodes of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Ultimately, they went with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – the new fantasy series currently debuting every week on Amazon.
Set thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it tells the story of Middle-Earth’s Second Age – covering major events such as the forging of the Rings of Power and the rise of Sauron.
Developed by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, The Rings of Power has been well met by fans and critics alike… but it looks as though they weren’t the only names in the mix to bring Tolkien’s works to TV.
“The people we were up against have résumés that on paper would be more suited to the gig,” said McKay. “We were the dark horse candidates.”
Other prospects included The Russo brothers – known for their works in the Marvel universe. An insider told THR that they pitched the Third Age “as an Aragorn story” but this never came to pass.
Another strong candidate was Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Anthony McCarten, who proposed a Shakespearean take on Middle-Earth. But despite Payne and McKay’s lack of experience, they won over the Tolkiens in the end – a tale worthy of any Baggins, for sure.
IGN’s review of The Rings of Power’s debut gave it 8/10 and said: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is telling its own story using the lore of Tolkien as a foundation, and the first two episodes make a solid case for why that story deserves to be told in such extravagance.”
Want to read more about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Check out how the show confirmed a long-contested Lord of the Rings plot point as well as when you can watch every new episode.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.