Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power co-showrunner Patrick McKay discusses how the Amazon series differentiates itself from the Peter Jackson films.
In what now feels like an eternity ago, Amazon announced that it was developing a Lord of the Rings series. That series, titled Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, was eventually revealed to be about the rise of Sauron during the Second Age of Middle-Earth. Dispite the noticeable time difference, comparisons to the Peter Jackson films would be inevitable.
In the early 2000s, Peter Jackson co-wrote, co-produced, and directed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The films were an enormous critical and financial success, with the third movie, The Return of the King, earning over $1B worldwide and winning 11 Academy Awards. The new Amazon series was made without Jackson’s involvement but the showrunners knew that comparisons would be inevitable.
While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Lord Of the Rings: The Rings of Power co-showrunner and executive producer Patrick McKay discussed his love for the Peter Jackson films and revealed how the show would differentiate itself from those movies:
“I would say we’re enormous admirers of Peter’s films. We were there opening night for each movie because they’re really wonderful and there’s so much that they get so beautifully right about what we love about those books. I think if we thought about trying to compete with those or live up to them, we’d flee. Like Monty Python, ‘Run away!’
I think where we were really coming from is going back to the books and finding new stories and new textures and new flavors that felt true to Tolkien that maybe we hadn’t seen before on the screen. That made it all a little more imaginable, like maybe there’s a way.”
Here is the synopsis for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
Amazon Studios is producing The Rings of Power in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are serving as showrunners and executive producers on the series.
The ensemble for the show consists of Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on September 2nd on Amazon Prime Video. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming series and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.