Recently, Swedish board game company Embracer Group announced that it had purchased the Lord of the Rings film rights from Saul Zaentz Company for $770 Million USD. The rights went up for sale earlier this year from the original owners as positive news for The Rings of Power series began to emerge. Saul Zaentz Company had bought film adaptation rights from the Tolkien Estate back in the 1970s but licensed it out to New Line Cinema (and Warner Brothers) in the 1990s to create the original films by Peter Jackson.
It may seem unclear who exactly has what rights from J.R.R Tolkien’s multiple literary works of Middle-Earth as Amazon also purchased rights in 2018 to create The Rings of Power TV series. According to Fellowship of Fans, Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema will retain all the rights of the original films and The Hobbit films made by Peter Jackson, including the upcoming anime The War of the Rohirrim. Amazon Studios has the rights to the Lord of the Rings appendices and The Hobbit for television/streaming only. Embracer Group now has the right to reboot Lord of the Rings and mentions wanting to create projects based on Gandalf, Eowyn, and more in the future. However, they are still expected to work directly with Warner Brothers as a film studio, so it’s unknown if the stories will be canon or not to the original films. Finally, MGM (which recently merged with Amazon) has the right to only distribute anything with The Hobbit films. Tolkien Estate will still retain all book rights to anything made in Middle-Earth.
Lord of the Rings is on DVD & Blu-Ray Today; The Rings of Power hits Amazon on September 2nd