Information regarding the upcoming Lord of The Rings television show on Amazon has been few and far between. But now a rumor from The One Ring details that the entire writing staff for the show has been fired.
Not only that, but Tom Shippey, a renowned Tolkien scholar, has also been rumored to have exited the project.
The One Ring’s Cliff and Justin detailed the rumors during their recent podcast, where they played the Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation board game. During their set up the pair dropped the bomb that Amazon let go of the writing staff and the show was put on hiatus until the streaming service was able to get a new team.
At around the 7:30 mark in the video below, Justin states, “Amazon has let go the entire writer’s room for Lord of the Rings. Everyone is gone. Their plan is to bring a whole new writing team for Season 2.”
He adds, “Right now as we speak today, as they film this. Season 1 is on hiatus. They are not filming Season 1. They are filming a pilot. Maybe two episodes. But they are not shooting Season 1. It’s officially on hiatus. The writing team for Season 1 has [been] let go. Amazon is actively looking for new writers to join a brand new writing room for Season 2.”
Justin continues, “Whatever has happened with the scripts for Season 1 of Lord of the Rings, those scripts are in cold storage. The Season 1 is on hiatus. And as far as we’ve heard they are looking for an entire new writing team for Season 2.”
Justin then adds, “That’s not the only bad news. Not only are the writers gone. Shippey is officially off the project.”
Shippey had previously done an interview with Tolkien Gesellschaft, where he reacted to the Lord of the Rings “Meet Our Fellowship” trailer, where it details that he is part of the team. In that interview he revealed that the Tolkien Estate had veto power over the show.
Shippey stated, “Yes, the Tolkien Estate keeps a very careful eye on everything and is quite capable of saying no. They retain a veto over everything that concerns Tolkien.”
Meet our Fellowship. pic.twitter.com/Npouu6ZlRt
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) July 27, 2019
However, he did indicate that Amazon did have a free hand because the show appears to take place during the Second Age.
“Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something, since, as I said, very few details are known about this time span. The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same. But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain “tolkienian”.”
It’s unclear why exactly the show would be put on hiatus and why they would be recruiting a whole new writing team.
Director J.A. Bayona did recently share a set photo from the Lord of the Rings of a tree.
He also indicated he’s in Auckland, where they are reportedly shooting the show.
What do you make of this rumor? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!