Well, we knew Amazon was looking for its own Game of Thrones; we just didn’t think they’d aim this high. A full-scale Lord of the Rings TV series is in development at Warner Bros., with Amazon leading the pack in an understandably competitive bid.

Variety reported late Friday that the iconic J.R.R. Tolkien novels might find new life as an adapted TV series, though no deal has yet emerged from the early-stage negotiations. Amazon is said to be foremost in pursuit, with CEO Jeff Bezos personally involved to secure a broad hit needed for the streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

Interestingly, negotiations for a Lord of the Rings series emerge as Amazon overhauls its studio in the wake of boss Roy Price’s departure. Not only that, but the announcement also follows resolution of a legal battle between Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate, ostensibly over “the use [of] characters from the movies in online slot machines and other games.”

Details are scant in such preliminary stages, and there’s no indication if a series might adapt the books straight on, or perhaps chart some separate corner of the mythology. Film franchise director Peter Jackson more-or-less made the definitive Lord of the Rings adaptation (the less we say about The Hobbit, the better), but plenty of Tolkien’s material was cut in a manner that could sustain several seasons of TV.

It could be some time before we’re there and back again, but would you pledge your sword, bow and and axe to an Amazon Lord of the Rings series?

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