And “multiple” new movies set in Middle-earth are in the works, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced on Thursday in an earnings call, after studio heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy signed a deal with Freemode, a division of Swedish entertainment company Embracer Group, which acquired the movie rights to Tolkien’s work in August last year. (Warner Bros. Discovery is the parent company of CNN.)
Warner Bros. will produce the movies together with sister company New Line Cinema and Freemode, “expanding upon the much-loved world and characters of Middle-earth,” a statement released by Embracer read.
Currently, New Line and Warner Bros. Animation are in production on an anime movie “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim,” a story set 183 years before the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” recounting the fate of Helm Hammerhand, a King of Rohan.
Neither the cost of the deal nor the creative team were revealed, although Jackson and his collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens told CNN in a statement that Warner Bros. and Embracer have kept them “in the loop” and that they “look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward.”
Jackson’s original trilogy, released between 2001 and 2003, was widely acclaimed, collecting 17 Academy Awards and generating almost $3 billion at the box office.
Other adaptations of Tolkien’s books have since been produced for the big and small screens.
Jackson’s “The Hobbit” movie trilogy also generated almost $3 billion in global receipts, while Amazon, which owns the TV rights to “The Lord of the Rings,” released its first season of “The Rings of Power” in 2022.
“Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ on the big screen,” De Luca and Abdy said in a statement.
“But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor,” they added.