Warner Bros. is planning to produce new movies based on ‘Lord of the Rings’

The “Lord of the Rings” film franchise is being revamped by Warner Bros. Pictures.

During a Thursday earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed that studio executives Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy have struck a deal to produce “multiple” movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular books. The upcoming projects will be created under the New Line Cinema label, which is part of the WB studio. The previous “Lord of the Rings” trilogy directed by Peter Jackson earned close to $3 billion globally, and the subsequent trilogy, based on Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” also reached those earnings.

At present, no directors have been assigned to the new movies, but according to a statement given to Variety, Peter Jackson and his primary collaborators on the “Lord of the Rings” films, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, have been kept informed by Warner Bros. and Embracer throughout the process.

“We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward,” Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens said.

Embracer Group’s Freemode division has secured the rights to adapt books such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” The deal will be presented under the banner of Middle-earth Enterprises.

It’s worth noting that Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy departed from MGM in 2021 to join Warner Bros. Their departure came after Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, as the tech company possesses the television rights to “Lord of the Rings” and funded the production of a single season of the series at a staggering cost of over $450 million in 2022.

“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 J.R.R. Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode. “We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.”

Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy acknowledged that New Line Cinema had taken an extraordinary risk in bringing the epic tales, characters, and universe of “The Lord of the Rings” to the big screen. However, despite the expansive and intricate nature of the two trilogies, the expansive, intricate and extraordinary universe envisioned by J.R.R. Tolkien remains mostly unexplored.

Specific information regarding the initial projects and their timelines has not yet been made public. The first trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, featured notable actors such as Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, and Cate Blanchett. This trio of films was nominated for a total of 30 Academy Awards and won 17, including Best Picture for 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Warner Bros. has a busy schedule ahead with many upcoming releases. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” will be released in a few weeks to conclude the second quarter. The summer season will begin with Ezra Miller’s “The Flash,” followed by the highly-anticipated “Barbie” movie, directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. In August, Jason Statham will reprise his role in “Meg 2: The Trench,” where he faces off against prehistoric sharks. Additionally, New Line will release the DC film “Blue Beetle.”

The end of the year will see the release of two highly anticipated films starring Timothee Chalamet: “Dune: Part Two” and the origin story of “Wonka,” based on the character from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Additionally, the musical adaptation of “The Color Purple” is set to release at the end of the year, alongside “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which features Jason Momoa in the lead role.