It you thought Disney Plus was going overboard on its Marvel and Star Wars expanded universes, wait until you see what the new owners of The Lord of the Rings franchise has in store.
The Embracer Group has acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises, and has made its bold intentions very clear from the onset.
Embracer is better known for buying up video game properties, but has added the rights to “motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions” from Middle-earth Enterprises for an undisclosed fee. And the company is already talking spin-off movies based on some classic characters from the franchise.
The announcement reads: “Other opportunities include exploring additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and other characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences.”
The deal puts Embracer in charge of the forthcoming Amazon Prime series The Rings of Power, as well as upcoming video games like Heroes of Middle-earth and the animated movie The War of the Rohirrim. It’s not the first dive into Middle-earth Embracer has taken, having already snapped up the company that makes LotR board games.
If you’re a little nervous, as a fan of the books or the Peter Jackson movies, then you’re probably not alone. The Tolkien Estate is still pretty powerful in terms of authorising LotR-based works, so hopefully it’ll keep the company on the straight and narrow and we won’t be subjected to tenuous spin-offs without the requisite reverence for the source material.
Which Lord of the Rings spin-off would you actually like to see? Gardening with the Gamgees? Extreme Mordor Makeovers? Let us know at @trustedreviews on Twitter.