from amazon the Lord of the Rings series would have obtained the rights to JRR Tolkiens The Silmarillion and Unfinished tales, or at least some of them. This information comes from a “spy report” published on TheOneRing.net. According to the report, “for the 1st time EVER: Elements and passages from ‘The Silmarillion’ and ‘Unfinished Tales’ are licensed by Amazon Studios for this adaptation [we broadly speculate those are sections of the book relative to Númenor and Rings of Power including full rights to stories licensed in the Appendices of “The Lord of the Rings,” which already mention Númenor and much more. Actors had posted instagram pics from Silm over the last 18 months.]”These elements would allow the Amazon show to cover major moments in Middle-earth history, including the forging of the Rings of Power and the creation of the orcs.
The significance of this licensing agreement may not be immediately apparent to some fans, or confuse others with regards to Peter Jackson. the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies. Tolkien initially licensed these four novels in the 1960s, and that deal would eventually result in both Jackson’s trilogies. At the time, he was still working on The Silmarillion and several other stories set in Middle-earth. These tales would be published posthumously by Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, with the incomplete stories making up the volume Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth.
It is said that Tolkien’s estate considers The Silmarillion to be the greatest work of the author and holds it in particular. By Jackson himself, The Estate didn’t like filmed versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and showed no interest in allowing Tolkien’s remaining stories in Middle-earth.
“I don’t think Tolkien’s estate liked these movies,” Jackson said during an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 (via Tolkien Library). “I do not think so The Silmarillion will go anywhere for quite a long time.
Jackson being limited to the use of material found in The Lord of the Ringssand The Hobbit is most evident in The Hobbit trilogy. Portions of The Silmarillion and Unfinished tales provide information explaining what led to the Battle of the Five Armies, as well as what happened to Gandalf when he left Bilbo and the group of dwarves alone and disappeared from the Hobbitin the book, much of which must have been left out of the movies. This is also the season for which Warner Bros. did not use The Silmarillion make more films on Middle-earth, although that is the obvious decision after making The Hobbit.
But it looks like the estate has turned over Tolkien’s remaining work, at least in part, to Amazon to make this new series. It’s no surprise that the report also states that Tolkien’s estate is much more directly involved with the Amazon series than with any earlier adaptation of the material. According to the report, three experts in Tolkien and Middle-earth lore were on set during production, and the estate is “very happy with the way things are going.”
There would have been pushes and pulls with Warner Bros. regarding some shared elements of Middle-earth mythology. One example is that the Amazon show must use “Ice Trolls” because Warner Bros. has the rights to “Cave Trolls”. The report notes that Amazon has merchandising rights for material related to its series.
What do you think Amazon gets the rights to The Silmarillion and Unfinished tales? Let us know in the comments.