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Don’t Expect The Next Lord Of The Rings Movies To Cover These Tolkien Stories


Don't Expect The Next Lord Of The Rings Movies To Cover These Tolkien Stories


Summary

  • Embracer Group owns film rights for Lord of the Rings, releasing new movies like The War of the Rohirrim in 2024 and Hunt for Gollum in 2026.
  • CEO Wingefors sees long-term potential in LOTR, focusing on Third Age to capitalize on familiar characters and locations for future films.
  • While the Third Age is popular, potential exists for adapting challenging but rewarding First and Second Age stories from Tolkien’s work.



There are a few movies in the pipeline for The Lord of the Rings, and they are likely to cover a certain part of the world outlined by author, J.R.R. Tolkien. Swedish video game company Embracer Group owns the rights to adapt The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books, as well as the appendices for the big screen, having bought them from the Saul Zaentz Company in 2022. They are releasing Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim in December 2024 and two more movies, starting with The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum in 2026.

Though it has long been announced that Embracer Group is putting out more Lord of the Rings content, CEO Lars Wingefors stated in a May 2024 report “We see great potential in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ IP and believe the universe can become a key driver in the coming decades” (via Embracer). This confident assertion of content for decades to come begs the question of what will follow The Hunt for Gollum and its follow-up. Embracer and its partner Warner Brothers have a range of stories to choose from, but some will be more appealing than others.


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The Next Lord Of The Rings Movies May Not Want To Stray From The Third Age

The Third Age Is Full Of Well-Known Characters And Places

All Warner Brothers Lord of the Rings movies released and announced so far are set in the Third Age of Middle-earth, and this trend may well continue into the coming decades. This is the Tolkienian Age most audiences are familiar with, containing famous characters and locations with broad appeal. However, Tolkien’s stories spanned into the Fourth Age, and most significantly back into the Second Age, the First Age, and before. To ensure that 2024 is The Lord of the Rings’ biggest year yet, Warner Brothers will likely tap into the wealth of Third Age settings they know are popular, at the expense of stories from the First, Second, and Fourth Ages.


The Ages of Middle-Earth

Years Of The Sun (Age)

Length of Age (Years)

First Age

590

Second Age

3,441

Third Age

3,021

Fourth Age

Unknown

Movies, TV series under eight episodes long, and games are all on the menu with Embracer’s promised decades worth of content, but movies probably have the highest earning potential. The Lord of the Rings is one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, so building on this momentum by focusing on the widely-known Third Age makes sense for the next few Lord of the Rings movies. This keeps Third Age characters such as Gollum, Frodo, and Aragorn potentially in the picture while unleashing previously unadapted stories such as that of Arvedui, the Last King of Arthedain.


There Are Still First And Second Age J.R.R. Tolkien Stories Available

Adapting First And Second Age Stories Is Challenging But Rewarding

Some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most profound, poetic, and meaningful work lies in the First and Second Ages of Middle-earth, covered in the divisive Silmarillion. Far heavier and more archaic in tone than The Lord of the Rings, this is just as often reported as a challenging read as it is a life-changing one. Though the rights to adapt The Silmarillion have never been provided, many of its stories are covered in the appendices to The Return of the King, though without much detail. One such story is the War of Wrath – Middle-earth’s biggest war.


There is untapped potential in putting the First and Second Ages on screen. Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power falls short in some areas and succeeds in others. However, 2024’s The War of the Rohirrim will improve The Lord of the Rings movies by portraying the same Age. It builds on and around their stories, and throws in revealing references to beloved characters such as Éowyn and Saruman. Rich storylines from the same Age as the Jackson trilogies, such as that of Arvedui, also proves that there is enough material to adapt.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim
will be released on December 13, 2024


What To Expect From The Hunt For Gollum & Future LOTR Movies

The Hunt for Gollum Will Tell Untold Tales From Around Frodo’s Lifetime

The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, and the next film due out in the deal, will likely cover events that happen before or during The Fellowship of the Ring, including Gandalf and Aragorn’s search for Gollum. The two-part movie deal starting with The Hunt for Gollum won’t cover the same ground as the Peter Jackson films released so far. Rather, it will “explore storylines yet to be told”, as reported by Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav on a widely publicized earnings call.


The film’s title refers to the point described in the appendices when Gandalf begins to suspect that Bilbo’s ring is the One Ring. Gandalf realizes Gollum’s relationship to the ring and enlists Aragorn to help him find Gollum. This is around the time of Bilbo’s famous birthday party in The Fellowship of the Ring. However, interestingly, Aragorn actually meets Gandalf about 50 years before this, according to the books. The Peter Jackson films compressed the timeline of the books to adequately show events over the runtime of a feature-length film, and upcoming movies may take a similar approach.


The 50 years between the meeting of Aragorn and Gandalf, and Gandalf initiating the hunt for Gollum, include critical events like the births and childhoods of Frodo, Boromir, and Faramir, the coronation of King Bain of Dale and Denethor’s wedding to the tragic Finduilas. Meanwhile, Gandalf tames Shadowfax, who won’t let Gandalf near at first. The Hunt for Gollum is based on Tolkien – if upcoming The Lord of the Rings movies are smart, they could draw out powerful details like this, whilst focusing the narrative on more fleshed-out parts of the text.

Source: Embracer

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