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‘Star Trek’ Writers Tapped for Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series

Image: New Line Cinema

Things are shaping up for Amazon’s massive Lord of the Rings series as the streaming giant has tapped Star Trek writers, D Payne and Patrick McKay, to develop the highly anticipated series based on  J.R.R. Tolkien’s best-selling fantasy novels. The series, which will serve as a prequel, taking place before the events in the first novel The Fellowship of the Ring, has already pledged a multi-season commitment and has a potential spinoff in the pipeline as well.

Payne and McKay are currently in the midst of writing the script for the upcoming fourth Star Trek film from J.J. Abrams and are also penning the script for Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise. 

“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity. We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime,” the duo said in a statement.

The Lord of the Rings series is certainly a huge undertaking for Amazon, but they’ve expressed just how excited they are to take on the project.

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth,” Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios said.

Amazon has remained pretty tight-lipped about details but Ian McKellan, who played Gandalf in the award-winning films from Peter Jackson, has expressed interest in being a part of the project.

“What do you mean, ‘another Gandalf’?  I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked. But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old,” McKellan told BBC Radio 2 late last year.

The series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. 

What are your thoughts on The Lord of the Rings series? Would you watch a prequel? Let us know!