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Tolkien Would Hate Warner Bros.' Lord Of The Rings Plan

Tolkien Would Hate Warner Bros.' Lord Of The Rings Plan
Image credit: Legion-Media/Prime

Warner Bros., struggling financially in the wake of its merger with Discovery, now seeks to right their ship by capitalizing on the immense popularity of The Lord of The Rings franchise.

Unfortunately, as far as we can tell from crumbs of information given so far, their current plan is shaping up to be everything J. R. R. Tolkien's would have hated.

Over the last two decades Warner Bros. handled the property with relative care – though Middle-earth purists, including Christopher Tolkien still disliked the results – but there was a noticeable trend of deviation from the literary source, gradually increasing with each new installment.

The Fellowship of the Ring tried to stick close to the book, with a few pragmatic changes, but by later movies of The Hobbit trilogy, large parts of screentime were dedicated to essentially fanfic content.

And as far as we can tell, Warner Bros. is about to take an enormous leap down this lane, with their plans to make The Lord of the Rings into a Star Wars-like franchise (we've covered the news on this before, see).

Among the objections which Christopher Tolkien, as head of the Tolkien Estate at the time, and caretaker of his father's works, raised against Peter Jackson's movies, was his belief that they represent a crucial step in commercialization of the world which J. R. R. Tolkien created.

And by commercialization he meant simplification of its themes and stories, until everything is reduced to the lowest common denominator.

It is certain that he would not have approved of "expanding" Middle-earth just because Warner Bros. cannot really make another adaptation of The Lord of The Rings so soon after Peter Jackson's trilogy.

And given how much care his father put into creating his imaginary world, it is just as certain that he would not have approved of any such plans as well.

Particularly right after The Rings of Power – another attempt to create an "expanded Middle-earth universe" even if by a different company – ended up as it did.

There is a possibility that plans by Warner Bros. might result in creation of something good… but just about every precedent, every sign we can see, points towards an incoming disappointment, and possibly an outright disaster.