Director Peter Jackson’s name is synonymous with the epic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. The first three movies took eight years to film and won 17 of 30 Academy Award nominations. The third film in the LOTR installment, Return of the King, won the award for Best Picture. It also tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic for the highest number of Academy Awards received for a film—11.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed more than $2.91 billion, making it the highest-grossing film series of all time, beating out the original Star Wars trilogy. So, when Amazon Studios announced it was developing a TV series based on the LOTR, many wondered if Jackson would be involved in the project. Some reports claimed he would take part in the production side after his attorney, Peter Nelson, stated he had fostered a dialogue between the two parties.
Jackson has since come forward to refute the rumors.
“I’m not involved at all in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series,” Jackson revealed during an interview with French outlet Allocine. “I understand how my name could come up, but there is nothing happening with me on this project.”
Earlier this year, Jackson said he wasn’t interested in helming a TV series. “I would not want to be the one responsible for the entire TV series, simply because I’ve never been responsible for a [long-term] series like this before in my life,” he told IGN’s German website. “So, it would not be very smart if I took on the role of showrunner. What I’m actually doing right now is putting the creative team [behind the series] together.”
Amazon Studios signed a reported $250 million rights contract in 2017 to produce a multi-season show based on LOTR. Production is slated to begin within two years. Amazon secured the rights after bargaining with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publishers HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema—a division of Warner Bros., which made the original films. Amazon has reportedly set a $1 billion budget for the series, making it the biggest in TV history.
Amazon is planning on cranking out five seasons of its LOTR series. The show will be a prequel to the films.