Tolkien estate “freaked out” at Netflix’s Gandalf & Aragorn solo LOTR series pitch

Gandalf in LOTRWarner Bros

Amazon’s Rings of Power series is going strong, but it turns out that both HBO and Netflix had some ideas for the LOTR franchise that Tolkien’s estate was not a big fan of.

Lord of the Rings is one of the biggest entertainment franchises of all time with millions of fans worldwide.

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies even spawned multiple spinoffs in the video game world with the Shadows of Mordor games, in particular, being critically acclaimed.

Such success, however, resulted in Netflix reportedly pitched its own idea for a couple of LOTR shows, but Tolkien’s estate shot it down.

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Netflix wanted to make Gandalf & Aragorn solo shows

According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix pitched “several” shows that were interested in making.

Two of the ones listed include solo programs, one of which was a Gandalf series while the other would have been a drama about Aragorn.

“They took the Marvel approach,” one insider said. “And that completely freaked out the estate.”

Meanwhile, HBO simply wanted to make a show that would have retold Middle Earth’s Third Age, essentially remaking Peter Jackson’s trilogy. However, due to the Tolkien estate’s issues with those films, that idea was also passed on.

Regardless, the estate ended up going with Amazon and even at a loss too as THR claims that Netflix’s bit was $250 million and Amazon’s was a few million less. Ultimately, their pledge of a close relationship and goals to protect Tolkien’s legacy won them over.

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Still, it’s wild to think of what could have been if Netflix or HBO were able to make their own series.