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Spyder

Potential LoTR TV Series (At the cost of a WoT TV Series?)

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So, I was catching up on some articles, and I get around to something about a potential Lord of The Rings TV series that Amazon is trying to acquire the rights to make. This is all well and fine; I'm always up for giving a new show based on fantasy books a try. 

Now, that being said, it might be an unpopular opinion but I'm not a big fan of the books. The movies were entertaining enough and I know they had to pare down, streamline and remove sections of the story to make things work. So while it would obviously be retelling a story that I'm familiar with, there would probably be more meat on the bone with a TV series and it would, simply through time available to tell the story, be a "truer" adaptation of the story. I don't know that I would necessarily watch, but I'd at least give it a try.

However, in the article linked above, it's said that Amazon was eyeing Wheel of Time, which has been optioned for TV by Sony. Part of that is that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is purported to be a big fan of SciFi and Fantasy fiction. He recently shuffled things up and sent down an edict that he wanted to do big, splashy TV shows with Amazon Studios rather than just doing a bunch of shows and hoping something happens to blow up. So the rights to a LoTR TV series are out there and not only would this be a big splash, but it's maybe the biggest name in fantasy (I guess there's an argument to be made that Game of Thrones, right now, is the biggest name in fantasy, but it's probably a 1A and 1B situation). And there's the rub: if you're going to do a catastrophic evil wants to destroy the world as we know it fantasy story, you want the biggest possible built in audience, potential story fatigue be damned. Obviously the most recent foray into the world was The Hobbit, but there were three of the damn things when all they really needed was and extra long one or maybe two. 

Now, I'm biased. WoT is my favorite fantasy series. If I had the time I'd reread the books every year. I have a a line from the books as a tattoo on my left arm (Sa Souvraya Niende Misain Ye). I really want there to be a good adaptation of the series on television. I know that changes would have to be made, that there's too much story to do a book by book adaptation; to start, you'd at least have to combine Crossroads of Twilight with Winter's Heart so that you have a coherent story.

Anyway, this all been a long way of saying the following: FUCK. 

And of course I know that Amazon isn't the only network that could do WoT. Sony has had a great working relationship with AMC here in the states, what with the success of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, so that could be an obvious outlet. But the reality is that WoT would, most likely, do better with somebody like Amazon because they aren't afraid to splash cash, and WoT would, in all likelihood, be an expensive adaptation, and the network has a history of (relative) stinginess with its biggest hit, The Walking Dead. Of course, this is me putting the cart way, way, way in front of the horse and worrying about problems I can only hope may occur, but it's part of why this is so damn frustrating.

I want to see a story I love get a real shot at a visual adaptation so that the characters, places and things I've had visualized in my mind for so long are on my TV screen. That's part of why I enjoy Game of Thrones so much! But that opportunity may be taken away, by a series that's already been adapted in a different, ridiculously popular iteration.

FOR FUCK'S SAKE, LOTR, YOU HAD YOUR FUN, AND THEN YOU HAD SOME MORE FUN WITH YOUR PREQUEL. YOU AREN'T EVEN THAT FUCKING INTERESTING.* GIVE SOMEBODY ELSE A CHANCE TO PLAY.

 

*Opinions may vary, but I'm right about this.

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While i have not finished the WoT series (i still have not even cracked Memory of Light, might be time to reread and finish), I absolutely love them, and even have a tattoo from WoT on my calf (Daes Dae'mar). My friend and I spent many hours trying to cast a WoT show or movie, and with the overwhelming success of LotR, we were hopeful that WoT might get the same treatment... and then GoT launched and we were once again excited that a fantasy series was doing so well, and once again had a vague hope that it might mean WoT would finally become a series. 

With the launch of The Shanara Chronicles, I realized that it would likely NEVER be done to satisfaction on any broadcast or cable station, and so would require the budget and depth of a Game of Thrones type show on premium cable like HBO or Showtime. 

And then, i realized... there's a very good chance that no matter who creates and produces it, I'll probably hate it. 

I've never watched GoT or read the books. And after the Fellowship, i never picked up LotR again (And likely never will, flare up with my best friend, who is a die hard LotR fanatic, caused me to vow never to pick them up or finish them ever again), and I think that was the saving grace for both series (if i manage to sit and watch more GoT after the first episode). I don't know the stories, or in the case of Harry Potter, I'm not as invested in them, so I'm able to sit back and enjoy what they are able to do with the material and enjoy it for what it is. 

I'm terrified that I would simply hate any big (or small) screen adaptation of WoT. 

 

Of course, if they make it, if it exists... of course I'll watch it. 

P.S. Though he's a bit too old, and wrong color eyes, I always liked Cillian Murphy for Mat.

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@Spyder , I'm with you on the LotR books. Seemed to me that Tolkien wasn't very good at writing action. Good at world building, though. Sounds like that might be the focus of the new series. Just not sure I'm all that interested in it, especially at the expense of something different.

As an advocate for reasonable copyright terms though, it's bewildering to me to see the scope of the legal battles involving a work published over 60 years ago and long after the author's death.

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On 07/11/2017 at 9:39 PM, Cyrain said:

P.S. Though he's a bit too old, and wrong color eyes, I always liked Cillian Murphy for Mat.

If that happens I will be extremely angry.  Extremely. Mat is my hero and Cillian is a pouty wanker (sorry I cannot abide him... although @Timberwolf will be happy to point out all the things he has been in that I have enjoyed watching, the fact remains I strongly dislike his face).

I love WOT, like Cy I need to finish it, which means I need to start over at the beginning, and like Cy I am scared to see it made into a film or TV show because it is magnificent in my head.  I feel like the LOTR movies are still too recent (but that is because I am old and it was only yesterday that Dubya was president - and what a glorious time that was eh in retrospect - I thought he was a twot at the time, but suddenly he looks like a paragon of diplomacy and statesmanship) which means that Viggo will feel like the "real" Aragorn and Olando the "real" Legolas etc.

But yeah, although I would love to see it done well - I think it is so unlikely to happen that I prefer them to leave it alone.

 

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