As most of you may have heard,Christoper Tolkien died at the age of 95 on January 16 2020. Chistopher was the third son of our beloved author Professor J.R.R. Tolkien, and had spent much of his life honoring his father’s legacy and bringing us so many of the Professor’s works posthumously. He edited and published such monumental works that we all love, such as The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales, The Book of Lost Tales and The History of Middle-earth. In recent years he released tales of The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, and The Fall of Gondolin.
We wrote about the tale of Beren and Luthien here:
We can’t help but wonder his sad passing means the film and television rights to the rest of the Tolkien works will now be sold more easily? We know Christoper was very vocal about his hate towards the Lord of the Rings movies and all the “commercialism” that came with it. The Tolkien fans are divided, some have stood firmly behind Christoper condemning any further sales and product-ionizing of any of Tolkien’s works. While other (like ourselves) believe that if done right the rest of Tolkien’s works (1st and 2nd age) can become the greatest piece of art to come to film and TV. Something fans, families, kids and the world will be able to relive like never before for ever onward.
Can we expect a Silmarillion movie?
Let us take a step back thought because the sale and right to the Tolkien estates cataloger is a confusing matter and there have been sales happening in recent years while Christoper was still alive (The new Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series)
Here are some of the important events to take note of:
- Aug 2017 – Christopher Tolkien resigned as Director from the Tolkien Estate. And his departure changes everything.
- With Christopher’s departure as an Director of the Tolkien Estate the long-awaited “rights frenzy” for Tolkien properties begun
- Sources revealed during this time that other members of the estate were much more willing to negotiate J.R.R. Tolkien’s properties while Christopher was far more interested in preserving legacy than money.
- Shortly after the change in Directorship the estate has sold the television rights (not the Movie rights which was already sold for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien way back in 1960) for book “The Lord of the Rings.”
When Amazon bought the TV to The Lord rights of the Rings universe in November, fans were surprised. Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien’s youngest son and literary executor, famously despised the commercial reproductions of his father’s work and refused to sell more access to the property. Amazon offered a whopping $250 million for a multi-season deal.
- This Amazon deal opens up Tolkien and Middle-earth as possible franchises in the same way that Harry Potter’s world is a place you can visit at Universal Studios or that Disney will soon have a Star Wars area.
- That doesn’t mean the Tolkien Estate will move toward making the rights to “Beren And Luthien” available
Does this mean we can expect a Silmarillion movie? Not necessarily. But it does mean our wish to produce “The Silmarillion” as HBO series is slightly less impossible than it was before. That is what has changed really. Things once impossible are now possible.
Tolkien fans across the globe are some angered and others delighted about this news. Some don’t want to see the compromise of the author’s vision. Make no mistake the LOTR and HOBBIT movies were the best thing ever to happen apart from the actual books. I cannot wait to watch them with my son one day, after he’s read the books of course. Can the Silmarillion not follow the same path?
Why the hate for Amazon and even Disney if they were to acquire further rights? If done correctly we can see some of the best movies ever made. Don’t tell me you dont want to see the sad tale of Turin, or the love between Beren and Luthien , or even Ungoliant sucking the life of the two trees? It could be epic.