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Amazon to adapt ‘The Lord of the Rings’ for television with a multi-season commitment

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Lord of the Rings

In what is rumored to be a major $250 million deal, Amazon has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the beloved fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment, the company announced Monday.

According to a press release issued by Amazon, the upcoming television adaptation will, of course, be set in Middle Earth and explores new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring. And, as if that weren’t enough, the deal is also said to include a potential additional spin-off series.

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

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Amazon Studios is producing the new series in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.

“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

The series will be an Amazon Prime Original and, therefore, will be available for Prime members to stream at no additional cost to their membership.

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Television

TV series based on Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ taps Emmy-winner Jay Roach to direct

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Donald Trump Fire and Fury
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After instantly flying off bookshelves and debuting at the top of The New York Times best-seller list in January, the film and television rights to Michael Wolff’s sensational White House tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House were quickly scooped up. Now the plan is to adapt the book into what is sure to be a very exciting television series.

When we first brought the news of the Fire and Fury TV series earlier this year, we reported that Endeavor Content had picked up the rights to the book for a large chunk of change (somewhere in the seven-figure range) and was searching for a director to helm the drama.

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It appears the producers have finally found their man as Emmy-winning director Jay Roach, who was previously attached to direct an HBO miniseries about the 2016 presidential election based on a story by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, has been tapped to direct the Fire and Fury TV series. Wolff is serving as an executive producer on the project, along with BBC executive Michael Jackson and John Lyons.

While some of the contents of Wolff’s book may not be entirely accurate, there’s no denying that Fire and Fury is one hell of a read and I’m excited to see what an outstanding director like Roach decides to do with the source material. Something tells me there’s going to be a lot of buzz surrounding this series once Emmy season rolls around.

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FX places pilot order for Silicon Valley drama ‘Devs’ from ‘Annihilation’ director Alex Garland

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Annihilation BTS Alex Garland Devs
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Fresh off the success of his critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller Annihilation, which just landed on Netflix internationally yesterday, writer-director Alex Garland’s eight-episode drama series Devs has received a pilot order from FX Networks as part of the overall television production deal he signed with the network last summer.

According to the show’s official logline, Devs follows a young computer engineer named Lily, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, which she believes is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend. Garland, who wrote the pilot, will assume directorial duties, as well.

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Devs is a captivating series from Alex Garland, building on his track record of groundbreaking work that challenges our notion of humanity amid the seemingly boundless promise of technology,” said Eric Schrier, President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions. “We’re all the more thrilled that Alex will direct and executive produce with our partners at DNA TV and Scott Rudin Productions.”

FX is known for their impressive roster of original programming, which includes American Crime Story, Fargo, and The Americans, all of which have been Emmy-nominated, so it would only make sense for Garland to set up his highly anticipated next project over there. As for when we’ll see this thing get out of development, into production, and onto the small screen is yet to be revealed, but we’ll keep you posted on any further updates.

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Barack and Michelle Obama are in negotiations with Netflix to produce their own series

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Barack and Michelle Obama
AFP

After keeping a relatively low profile since leaving the White House just over a year ago (it feels like so much longer), President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in negotiations with streaming giant Netflix to produce what is described as a series of “high-profile shows,” according to a report from The New York Times.

“Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics,” The Times reports, adding that the series could feature Obama moderating conversations on topics such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.

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Sources with insider knowledge of the proposed deal, which has not been finalized, say “the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories,” which could be the wonderful escape we need right now in our depressing, chaos-filled world that is on the brink of nuclear war.

“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” said Obama senior adviser Eric Schultz. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

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