Middle-Earth Enterprises of Embracer Group AB and New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures have reached a new multi-year agreement to collaborate on new The Lord of the Rings motion pictures. David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, revealed the information on Thursday during a conference call to discuss the company’s Q4 2022 earnings results.
The demand for new franchises on the big screen has been raised by Zaslav in past conversations.
The agreement comes 20 years after Peter Jackson’s epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy was published by New Line and won 17 Oscars, including 11 for its concluding installment The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004, which tied the record for a single film. Jackson and Warners reunited for a trilogy of movies based on The Hobbit, which was a co-production with MGM. The six movies collectively brought in close to $6 billion at the global box office.
The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, an original anime that takes place 183 years before the events in The Lord of the Rings, is currently being produced by New Line and Warner Brothers Animation. On April 12, 2024, the film, which depicts the story of the House of Helm Hammerhand, the legendary King of Rohan, will premiere in theaters.
Notably, Amazon defeated Netflix in a separate TV rights deal in 2018 worth approximately $250 million for a five-season commitment to bring The Lord of the Rings to the streaming service. The deal involved the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line. In September 2022, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which had its Prime Video debut, was created from that.
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are just two of the Tolkein literary masterpieces that Middle-earth Enterprises has exclusive worldwide rights to adapt into movies, video games, merchandise, stage productions, and other media. For more than 40 years, they have been licensed and made based on the works of movies, video games, stage shows, and products. In August, Embracer acquired the Middle-earth movie rights from the late Oscar-winning director Saul Zaentz.