Warner Bros has announced work on a new set of feature films based on The Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit franchises.
The films will invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth “in new and exciting ways”, studio bosses said.
The multi-year collaborative project was announced by Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and Embracer, part of operative group Freemode, on Thursday.
It comes 20 years after the release of Peter Jackson’s award-winning The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
The films are among the most successful and acclaimed of all time, having won 17 Oscars including 11 for The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.
Freedmode chief executive Lee Guinchard said the company was “thrilled” to bring the “incomparable” world of Tolkien back to the big screen “in new and exciting ways”.
“We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Pictures, we plan to honour the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values,” he said.
“Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realise the incredible stories, characters and world of The Lord Of The Rings on the big screen.”
Warner Bros Pictures Group co-chairs and chief executives, Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, said that despite the scope of the “landmark” films, much of Tolkien’s universe remained “largely unexplored on film”.
“The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honour, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure,” they said.
New Line Cinema teamed up again with director Peter Jackson for a trilogy of films based on the The Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit, which were also a box office success.
In a statement following news of the fresh feature films, Jackson, as well as The Lord Of The Rings screen-writer Phillipa Boyens, and producer Fran Walsh, said they were looking forward to hearing about the franchise’s “vision”.
“Warner Brothers and Embracer have kept us in the loop every step of the way,” they said in a statement shared with the PA news agency.
“We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward.”
The new films come following last year’s release of Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power spin-off series.
The series, starring a host of British talent including Morfydd Clarke, reportedly cost around £600 million to make, and received mixed reviews from both fans and critics.