Amazon Has Picked Star Trek 4 Writing Duo to Develop Its Lord of the Rings Show

The previously hugely successful movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings.
The previously hugely successful movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings.
Image: New Line Cinema

The two creators previously worked on The Jungle Cruise and the upcoming Star Trek 4.

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At the Television Critics Association today, Amazon Studios announced that J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay had been selected to helm the platform’s upcoming Lord of the Rings television show. The announcement was made by Jennifer Salke, the studio head, The Hollywood Reporter explains, during this year’s summer press tour of the TCA.

The duo, who previously wrote the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Jungle Cruise, are best known for having been tapped by J.J. Abrams to write the upcoming Star Trek 4.

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Notably, the announcement doesn’t explain whether the duo will be writing, showrunning, or some other particular role—only that they’ll be leading the development of the series.

Amazon’s adaptation of Lord of the Rings has been in the works for a little while now, after a series of negotiations led to Amazon paying $250 million to acquire the rights to produce a show based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s massively successful fantasy novels (which, themselves, spawned a massively successful movie franchise).

“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity,” the writing duo said in a statement. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”

According to THR, Amazon hopes to have the series on the air by 2021.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

johncooley
John Cooley

I know it’s easy to dismiss the statement as marketing lingo, but the fact that the writers make a point to describe Tolkien’s work as containing “majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity” tells me that they’re willing to at least try and capture some of the genuine beauty of Tolkien’s writing.

They could have said something about the fantastic visuals or the epic scope or the potential for sword-heavy action- but instead, they commented on the precise things that drove Tolkien to create his world in the first place. That gives me a bit of hope.