LotR Fans Prepare for the Worst as Warner Bros. Plans a Star Wars-Style Franchise
There is a frightening rumor, relayed to us by The Hollywood Reporter.
As you probably know, Warner Bros. Discovery and New Line Cinema recently made a deal with Embracer Group, purchasing rights to make new movies based on Tolkien's books.
The deal was made on the background of the newly formed studio struggling financially and reporting massive losses in Q4 of 2022. What is their plan to improve their fortunes?
The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy by Peter Jackson does indeed have one similarity with Star Wars – it is put on a pedestal by fans, just like the original trilogy of Star Wars.
The temptation to turn it into a sprawling multimedia project, of the type which Star Wars actually pioneered, back when MCU was not even in the plans, must be high.
And as to why that would be a bad idea… There are several reasons, all important.
First, successfully creating such a multimedia project requires care and long-term planning. Look at Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The path from Iron Man to the original Avengers, which marked several effectively unrelated superhero movies merging into a shared universe, took four years.
A studio which is a hurry to recoup its losses is badly positioned to undertake a project with such a long build-up.
Second, Warner Bros. almost certainly does not have talent to pull off such a multimedia project, as the state of their DC cinematic universe evidences. In fact, given the current state of Star Wars and MCU, it is doubtful if anyone does.
And third, Tolkien's fans are notably hostile to attempts to any sort of "expansions" they perceive as unfaithful to Tolkien's visions, as The Rings of Power had recently demonstrated.
So, unsurprisingly, while the reaction to the news about Warner Bros' intending to make more movies set in Middle-earth already was negative, the reaction to this rumor amounted to variations of "Oh god no." (See, here, here or here for examples and some relevant memes.)
All in all, it is better for that rumor to stay false.