After the successful acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, which holds adaptive film rights for many of the famed author’s books, including ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit,’ the media giant is set to create an entire new generation of films through the WB label New Line Cinema.
Back to Middle-earth we go! On a recent earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed studio leaders Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy have closed a deal to develop “multiple” upcoming films based on the books by J. R. R. Tolkien through the WB label New Line Cinema.
Much like Amazon’s acquisition of adaptive TV rights, which resulted in the widely successful (yet controversial) Rings of Power series, Freemode (a division of Embracer Group) secured adaptive film rights for multiple Tolkien books, including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in late 2022. The deal, which was aptly titled Middle-earth Enterprises, passed to Warner Bros. once Embracer was acquired.
“Following our recent acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, we’re thrilled to embark on this new collaborative journey with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, bringing the incomparable world of J.R.R. Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” said Lee Guinchard, Freemode CEO to Variety. “We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”
De Luca and Abdy acknowledge New Line previously “took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of The Lord of the Rings on the big screen … but for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored.”
In a spot of good news for fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, the director has stated he and collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have been kept “in the loop every step of the way” by Warner Bros. and Embracer. “We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward,” said Jackson, Walsh and Boyens. Could the golden trio be getting back together?!