The Lord of the Ringshas been a hot commodity since American animator Ralph Bakshi created the first adaptation of the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien books.

Although Bakshi wasn't the first filmmaker to want to adapt the novels, with John Boorman and The Beatles (teaming up with Stanely Kubrick) pitching their unmade scripts to adapt the project, LOTR has seen a lot and been through even more.

From Peter Jackson's mostly beloved director-cut trilogy to Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the high fantasy world still continues to inspire studios to make more films and series.

Back in February 2023, Variety reported that Warner Bros. announced that they are revamping The Lord of the Rings film franchise. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announce that Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, the newly installed studio heads, have made a deal to make multiple films based on the J.R.R. Tolkien books.

While many of us cringe at the thought of a remake of a franchise that came out 20 years ago, this move from Warner Bros. makes sense. We are living in an era of remakes and legacy sequels.

Gandolf riding on his white horse'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'Credit: New Line Cinema

With the help of Fathom Events and 1,100 theaters across the U.S., I'm sure that Warner Bros. is giddy with excitement at the possible blockbuster on their hands as Peter Jackson's

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King grosses $1.1 million Thursday night (according to Box Office Mojo). This places the 20-year-old film, which is showing in theaters in its four-and-a-half hour-long director's cut with an introduction by Elijah Wood, in the #2 spot right behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

For comparison, Thursday night viewings of Airreported $982,598 for the day in over 3,000 locations, and the horror-comedy Renfieldgrossed $9,000 in previews. This might look frightening for filmmakers who want to create new and original stories, but you have to remember the legacy of LOTR.

It will be hard for anything to outperform a film franchise that is deeply ingrained in film culture and pop culture.

The fascination with the franchise cannot be underscored, which makes us wonder whether or not Warner Bros. cares about the new LOTR films they are creating or if they are just trying to milk the cash cow. We are not alone in our worries.

The race of men in 'LOTR' films.'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'Credit: New Line Cinema

Elijah Wood on the Future of the New LOTR Films

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Elijah Wood talked about the new films, saying, "I’m surprised—I don’t know why I’m surprised because of course there would be more movies. Obviously, at the core of that, is a desire to make a lot of money. It’s not that a bunch of executives are like, ‘Let’s make really awesome art.’ And again, not begrudging anybody because, of course, it is commerce. But great art can come from commerce. So those two things are not mutually exclusive.”

Unlike some projects that are blatantly made for profit, Wood stressed that Jackson's trilogy "didn't come out of that place."

“It came out of a passion for these books and wanting to see them realized,” Wood said about Jackson's motivation for creating the trilogy. “And I hope that that is ultimately what will drive everything forward with whatever these subsequent movies are. I just hope that it’s the same motivating factor at its core, whenever they hire a screenwriter and a filmmaker—that it is with reverence for Tolkien’s material and enthusiasm to explore it.” 

Everyone who is attached to LOTR projects seems to come from a place of pure passion and enthusiasm to continue the worldbuilding and lore that made these stories so fun to explore. We just hope to see this trend continue and for more great stories from a franchise that we all hold dear to our hearts.

Source: GQ