Middle-earth is coming back to the big screen as multiple new Lord of the Rings films are being produced, Warner Bros. Discovery has announced.
It has not yet been revealed what J. R. R. Tolkien source material will be focussed on in the upcoming movies, when they will be released or if they will be produced in New Zealand, but fans have been quick to speculate online about what to expect.
"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. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans," said Warner Bros. Pictures Group Co-Chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy.
"But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honour."
Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Newshub, announced on Friday it will produce "multiple features" as part of a multi-year agreement to collaborate with Middle-earth Enterprises, a unit of Embracer Group AB.
Sir Peter Jackson helmed the original trilogy, released between 2001 and 2003, along with The Hobbit trilogy, released between 2012 and 2014. Although he has not yet been announced as being attached to the upcoming new films, he along with collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens told Variety they have been kept "in the loop every step of the way".
"We look forward to speaking with [Warner Bros. Discovery and Embracer] further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward," a statement attributed to Sir Peter, Walsh and Boyens said.
The two trilogies released so far brought in around US$3 billion each in global box office revenue and the first broke Oscar records with 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.