Speaking at Business Insider’s Ignition 2017 media conference in New York on Wednesday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler revealed why the venerable network passed on the television adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and it’s a reason that won’t surprise most fans: It already had Game of Thrones, another big-budget fantasy series, along with five separate Game of Thrones prequels. Another fantasy show just wasn’t in the cards.
Plepler stressed that the network’s focus is on developing their own material, a move he believes offers better branding abilities:
“I’d rather own our IP [intellectual property] 100%… and I’d rather have the ability to work with a product that is inextricably linked to our brand.”
While HBO passed on the project, Amazon did not, announcing a multi-season production deal for the Lord of the Rings television series. Plepler offered his own quip when asked about the reported $250 million Amazon deal:
“If I’m Jeff Bezos, that’s Monopoly money.”
When asked what’s next for HBO after Game of Thrones ends, Plepler clearly wasn’t concerned, noting the network will still be able to compete with the likes of streaming services like Netflix by continuing to build a brand that stands for “curated excellence.” He cited the sci-fi series Westworld, which aired its first season in late 2016, as an example, which averaged around 13 million viewers in its first season, doubling what Game of Thrones pulled in during its first season.
“We’re on track for our biggest year in history in terms of subscriber and revenue growth, and see that revenue growth just increasing over the coming years.”
What do you think, fans? Did HBO make a mistake passing on Lord of the Rings? Or do you think they’ll be just fine focusing on Games of Thrones and its prequels? Let us know in the comments!
The new Lord of the Rings series has a multi-season commitment from Amazon Studios, who will be producing the series along the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.
The Films Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked From Worst To Best
It’s a perennial love of pop culture lovers like ourselves (and many other outlets) to celebrate Marvel’s latest cinematic offering with another thing we love: ranking their films. With Avengers: Infinity War now in theaters and Ant-Man and the Wasp right around the corner, it’s that time of the year again. The only difference here is that this list is definitive. No more lists needed, friends, you can call your people and bring them home. Just click Next and let’s get started.