Is there something rotten in the state of Middle-earth?
That’s what Peter Jackson is trying to figure out in the wake of an apparent snub by Amazon over his involvement in its upcoming series: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
According to Jackson, Amazon promised to send him scripts but then went radio silent on the Oscar-winning director of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Here’s what Jackson told Scott Feinberg on The Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter podcast: “They asked me if I wanted to be involved — writer-producer Fran Walsh and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script.’ So they said, ‘As soon as we get the first couple scripts, we’ll send them to you.’ And the scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard, which is fine. No complaints at all.”
Despite the apparent snub, Jackson says he holds no negative feelings toward Amazon, telling reporters that he’ll be watching the new installment no matter who makes it: “I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough. If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”
In a mutual expression of appreciation, Amazon issued a statement that said “In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films. We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”
It’s being reported that legal issues over ownership of the two entities of film and TV show may indeed be responsible for the impasse, as well as executive changes at the upper tier of Amazon. Jackson advocate Sharon Tai Yguado left her position as head of genre programming in 2019. It’s also being suggested that the Tolkein estate was opposed to having Jackson direct the project. Christopher Tolkein had earlier complained that the trilogy “eviscerated” his father’s literary output by turning his books into mere action films that lacked artistic substance.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is scheduled to premieres on Prime Video on September 2.
Here’s the trailer of the film.