Hobbits are now owned by Amazon, joining all-encompassing TV rights to The Lord of the Rings book and appendices rights.
It’s official: Amazon has acquired MGM Studios, including the longtime film and TV rights to The Hobbit and characters related. Within hours, CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down in July and moving to Hollywood to play with his major studio, of which the crown jewel is The Lord of the Rings.
What this means is that @LOTRonPrime can put Hobbits in their Second Age show, since rights to that class of characters were held by MGM. ‘But timelines,’ you say! Time is just a construct. Amazon needs an Everyman entry point for casual viewers: Hobbits are that. There have been rumors that Harfoots are in the show, a book-sourced compromise from the troublesome Hobbit rights. Amazon can now change all the dialogue in reshoots to call them Hobbits; casual fans will want that familiarity.
Remember the crushing drama of rights issues with MGM on The Hobbit, which caused Guillermo del Toro perhaps the greatest professional loss of his career? Amazon has just resolved all that for the future.
Amazon has full TV rights to The Lord of the Rings full stop – anything mentioned in the books and appendices. Now they have all the rights MGM previously held, from its 45 year old Saul Zaentz deal. Amazon chose not to remake The Lord of the Rings, instead exploring many different options, before settling on Numenor and the Second Age.
Owning MGM means, of course, that Amazon COULD remake The Hobbit into a limited series or a cartoon; many things are possible. All kinds of round doors are now open…