While details are still light at the moment, one of the most hotly-anticipated TV series is Amazon's billion-dollar effort with 'Lord of the Rings'.
The series, which will be set thousands of years before the movies, will pick up a previously untold story in Middle-Earth, and is slowly beginning to take shape. In a lengthy interview with German Tolkien fansite Deutsche Tolkien, Tom Shippey - one of the show's supervisors - revealed that the series is set solely in the Second Age, and will not cover any of the ground already covered by Peter Jackson.
On top of that, Shippey also teased that the first season is expected to have in and around 20 episodes. "Logically," Shippey explained, "you try to bundle all the scenes that take place in one location and film them so that you have it done and don't have to return to that place several times. But this also implies that everything has to be clear at the start of filming, you have to know the end. There's supposed to be 20 episodes for the first season. So until they've decided what the end is going to be, they can't start filming."
Shippey's role in the series is essentially to police what can and can't be covered by the show's writers. For example, anything in the likes of 'The Hobbit' or 'Fellowship of the Rings' is strictly off-limits and cannot be touched upon the series. "Events could be mentioned at the most if they explain the events of the Second Age," Shippey clarified. "But if it is not described or mentioned in the 'Lord of the Rings' or in the appendices, they probably cannot use it. So the question is to what extent they may hint at events that took place, for example, in the First Age, but still continue to affect the Second Age."
Again, details are light on what the TV series will be about, but given how rich in detail Tolkien's writing is, they're not going to be stuck for inspiration. According to Shippey, Amazon are hoping to air the series in 2021, but added that "there is still a lot to do, just think of the costumes, weapons, locations."
For now, Amazon are keeping schtum on when the series will land and haven't given any kind of official air date.