Book Watching: Do we need another Lord of the Rings? (Also: Game of Thrones & Narnia?)

Book Watching

This week, I got movie adaptation of fantasy classics on my mind. Here’s the latest on The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and The Chronicles Narnia

 

Lord of the Rings (Prequel)

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Welp, canaries. We’d pretty much come to terms that we wouldn’t be getting any more Tolkien adaptations from Warner. What with the Tolkien estate all but saying that they’d rather set their entire archive on fire before letting Warner Bros get their mitts on any more properties. (No, they didn’t actually say that, but they probably thought it.) Then, just last month, they went and disavowed Disney’s Tolkien biopic in no uncertain terms.

So the ball has been bounced over the Amazon who came in stage right and dropped $250 million to get the rights make a Lord of the Rings prequel series (like, thousands of years before The Hobbit) with an option for spinoffs. It’s early days, but with Amazon pouring in a gazillion dollars and filming scheduled for August, I’m gonna call it a done deal. We’re getting a prequel.

Though, to be honest, canaries, I just can’t seem to work up an appetite. After the exhausting slog that was the Battle of the Five Armies, do we really need more Lord of the Rings? And with the time jump going way back thousands of years to the second age, does it even matter than it’s Tolkien’s universe?

Writers J.D. Payne and and Patrick McKay (whose only IMDB credit so far is Star Trek Beyond)  are attached to the show so far. So there’s that.

Release Date: Meh. 2020?

Game of Thrones (Prequel)

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Remember when Breaking Bad was the show to watch? Then it ended and got a critically acclaimed prequel spinoff that no one really talks about at the office cooler? And then there’s the’s Fear the Walking Dead that, dispite mixed reviews is still going strong towards a fifth season.

So yeah, there’s clearly a market for spinoffs.

But if you thought the 2,000-year Lord of the Rings jump was excessive, this Game of Thrones spinoff is going back 5,000 (or 10,000) years or something. On the bright side, Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and George R.R. Martin are working on the pilot, so that might be interesting.

This prequel is also just one of several under discussion. The showrunner throne awaits.

The spinoffs are coming.

Release Date: Summer 2020.

The Chronicles of Narnia 

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Okay, canaries, the one might be interesting. Netflix got the rights to all seven Narnia books, and will be rolling out multiple projects (episodes? movies? all of the above?) each with different showrunners and writers.

Netflix has done well with anthologies in the past (think Black Mirror) so I’m curious to see how it does with a classic fantasy property like Narnia. Then again, Netflix might be looking to launch its own Narnia Cinematic Universe. If that’s the case, they better tread lightly. We all remember what happened to Universal’s Dark Universe dreams, and it wasn’t good.

Plus, while Narnia is a household name, its movie adaptations have never been a sure blockbuster. To put that in perspective, the first and strongest Narnia movie still did worse at the domestic box office than Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (adjusted for inflation).

Release Date: Nothing confirmed.

Canaries, what adaptations are you most looking forward to? Should studios continue to go back to the same source material?

 

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