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Surprise! New Lord of the Rings films are on the way

Middle Earth Enterprises is back in business.

Surprise! New Lord of the Rings films are on the way
Andrew Williams
24 February 2023

Multiple new Lord of the Rings films are in the works and, in a refreshing change, they aren’t under the banner of one of the giant streaming services.

The new Lord of the Rings films are to be made by Warner Bros.’s New Line Cinema in partnership with gaming giant Embracer Group, which acquired the rights back in 2022 for an estimated $569 million. Sheesh. That’s even more than the $250 million Amazon paid in 2017.

New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson’s own WingNut Films worked on the original trilogy of films way back in 2001-2003.

At this point we have very little detail on what these films will offer, who will star in them or when they will come out. However, some statements released alongside this news do provide some clues as to the intent here.

New collaborative journey

“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 JRR Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” said Lee Guinchard, chief executive of Embracer’s Freemode division told Variety.

That “new and exciting” part suggests we’re not looking at a re-telling of the classic trilogy. While that would make sense given we’re 20 years on from the release of Lord of the Rings: Return of The King, that idea turns our stomachs given how well the originals hold up today — including their special effects. Pale imitations of the past aren't on order, even if Freemode promises to "adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values."

Words from Warner Bros film division heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy are similarly reassuring.

“For all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by JRR Tolkien remains largely unexplored,” they say.

The speculation is already heating up over at numerous forums and the /r/lotr subreddit, if that’s your bag.

Our next slice of Lord of the Rings entertainment is likely to be the The Lord of the Rings: Gollum game. It was originally pegged for September 2022, but delayed following a July 2022 gameplay trailer that looked more Hobbit movie than LOTR in terms of quality. It's now reportedly aiming for a release window some time between April and September.