New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, MGM and Showtime have officially announced the completion of a deal with the Tolkien Estate to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel, The Silmarillion, in a cross-platform deal that will include a multi-film franchise and premium cable television show to air on Showtime.
Warner Bros. confirms they will be going straight into preproduction, shooting the first two films back-to-back with a release date of December 13th, 2018 for the first installment.
Warner Bros. CEO, Ken Fijihara stated today,
“With the blessings of the Tolkien Estate, we at Warner Bros. are very excited to continue the journey into Middle Earth. With the supervision of Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson overseeing the project as an executive producer, and Academy Award winning screenwriter Michael Arndt adapting the first chapter in this beloved classic, we have every confidence that we can deliver an adaptation that is every bit as exciting, artistic, successful and faithful to the spirit of Tolkien as the Academy Award winning The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit sagas were.”
While a director has not yet been attached to the film, it is good to know that someone of Arndt’s caliber is attached to the first chapter of The Silmarillion; which certainly puts his departure from Star Wars Episode VII in a whole new light. While The Silmarillion is a significantly shorter story than The Lord of the Rings – it’s one novel opposed to three – it covers thousands of years and certainly opens up the possibility for countless forays back into Middle Earth. The only question would be whether or not we have writers capable of successfully expounding on the stories of such iconic characters as Feanor, Fingolfin, Morgoth and Turin Turambar. If anyone can do it, it’s Michael Arndt; especially with Peter Jackson serving as overseer for the franchise.
Either way, whatever they do with the films and TV show will require a lot of creative license to be taken. Granted, any apprehension towards such Warner Bros. already slew with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (trailer below).
Let’s just hope the writers are up to the task, but either way I cannot wait to see how it all turns out four years from now!
My mind is running wild with the possibilities right now. So, let’s vote!