Back in November, Amazon made the announcement that they are developing a Lord of the Rings TV series that will tell all new stories in the world of Middle Earth established by author J.R.R. Tolkien. Many have wondered if Peter Jackson, who directed both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, will have any involvement in the series, and now the director has offered some contradicting details. In an interview with Allocine for his upcoming film The Mortal Engines, Peter Jackson seemed to make it quite clear that he has no involvement in this TV project whatsoever.
"I'm not involved at all with the Lord of the Rings series, I understand my name can be quoted, but nothing is happening with me on this project."
However, shortly after that interview was posted, Peter Jackson was interviewed by the German version of IGN, where he mentioned that he will have an indirect involvement in the show. While he said that he has no interest in being involved in an ongoing TV series, but he did add that he is putting the creative team behind the series together. Here's what he had to say in that interview, indicating that he had discussed this series with Amazon over a year ago.
"I had a phone conversation with Amazon on this one, I think that was a little over a year ago and it sounded like they were doing the right thing (with the show), they have very good intentions with it it all sounds very fascinating and exciting. However, I would not want to be the one responsible for the entire TV series, simply because I've never been responsible for a [long-term] series like this before in my life. So it would not be very smart if I took on the role of showrunner. What I'm actually doing right now is putting the creative team (behind the series) together."
The creative team has not yet been announced, although there was a report shortly after the series was announced in November that the show would cost Amazon upwards of $1 billion. That report claimed that Amazon shelled out a massive $250 million just for the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga alone, with the "production budgets, casting, writers, producers and visual effects" said to make up the rest of the purported $1 billion price tag. It wasn't specified if that amount was for the entire series' run, which is rumored to span five seasons.
The show was picked up by Amazon in a competitive bidding situation, and while none of the other bidders were revealed, HBO CEO Richard Plepler revealed during a media conference appearance that HBO actually turned down the show before it was picked up by Amazon, stating that he'd rather own their own intellectual property completely, instead of developing a show based off a known IP such as The Lord of the Rings. There is no indication when any official announcements about the creative team, production schedule or cast will be made at this time. Until then, you can head over to Allocine for their interview with Peter Jackson.