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A new series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy will debut on Amazon on September 2, and is expected to run for five seasons at a cost to of $1 billion.
The news, reported in Vanity Fair, also seems to have put to rest rumors that the series would feature sex and violence.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be set in Middle Earth’s Second Age, and is based on “the vast backstory [Tolkien] laid out in the appendices” to Lord of the Rings, reported Anthony Breznican and Joanna Robinson.
The first three episodes left the Vanity Fair writers impressed. They write:
“The show is a lavish, compelling mix of palace intrigue, magic, warfare, and mythology—and there are enough mysteries to power a thousand podcasts. Some characters will be familiar, and they will be the initial attraction as viewers watch their legendary fates unfurl. But the entirely new faces may ultimately become even more involving, since their destinies are literally unwritten.”
Petition against nudity in LOTR
Since it was revealed that Game of Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman had been hired as an adviser to the project, concerns have been raised that the new series might feature sex and violence.
Then came news that the show’s creators, Patrick McKay and JD Payne, had hired “intimacy coordinators,” and that actors trying out for parts should be comfortable doing nude scenes. Fans of the Ring series responded by starting a petition on Change.org calling for Amazon to keep nudity out of the upcoming series.
The petition was organized by Catholic Memes, and managed to collect over 54,600 signatures. It called on the movie’s creators to consider Tolkien’s Christian faith in making their series:
Amazon Prime has an upcoming Lord of the Rings series set before the trilogy. They have hired “intimacy coaches” and have asked that actors be comfortable with doing nude scenes in the castings. Tolkien’s work is truly wholesome and packed with incredible Christian symbolism. He was a devout Catholic, and his memory does not need to be stained with gratuitous nudity or even nudity in the slightest. Tolkien’s creations have always been mostly FAMILY friendly … KEEP IT THAT WAY.
A ‘Ring’ series for everyone
It seems that the petitioners voices were heard. McKay told Vanity Fair that the new series would be family-friendly.
The goal, he said, was “to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it’s a little too scary. We talked about the tone in Tolkien’s books.
“This is material that is sometimes scary—and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated—but it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic. It’s about friendship and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness,” McKay said.