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Lord of the Rings prequel on Amazon moves forward

Amazon Studios is moving forward with a prequel to the immensely popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ series.

According head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, the Lord of the Rings TV series currently in the works is still a long ways off, but it just took a major step forward. At the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Salke announced that they’ve hired a writing team to helm the series, JD Payne and Patrick McKay. Payne and McKay met on their high school debate team over 20 years ago, and their most recent projects include Star Trek 4 and Jungle Cruise.

Amazon reportedly shelled out a billion dollars to adapt J.R.R. Tolkein’s epic series for television. The Lord of the Rings trilogy already spawned three hugely successful movies directed by Peter Jackson, and that inspired three films based on the Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit.

The TV series is reportedly set pre-Frodo (Elijah Wood) and The Fellowship of the Rings, playing around in the world of the hobbits, elves and men of Middle Earth before the one ring to rule them all was found and destroyed. The bad news is that this project is still just a fledgling idea, with very few details and no production plans yet.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Salke said the series would ideally premiere in 2021. It’s worth noting that would be the same year as the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, which hit theaters in December of 2001.