Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson Says Amazon Ghosted Him Over Rings of Power Prequel Series
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Thursday, the Academy Award-winning director, 60, said that Amazon left him hanging after holding initial conversations tied to him getting onboard with the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
“They asked me if I wanted to be involved — [writer-producer Fran Walsh] and I — and I said, ‘That’s an impossible question to answer without seeing a script,'” Jackson said in the interview.
And though he detailed that Amazon then promised to send the scripts to Jackson and Walsh as soon as they were done, the filmmaker explained, “The scripts never showed up. That’s the last thing I heard.”
Jackson, who topped the Forbes‘ Highest-Paid Entertainer List of 2022, said he holds no ill will towards Amazon, however — “No complaints at all,” he said — and he even noted that he’s looking forward to watching the upcoming series.
“I’ll be watching it,” he said. “I’m not the sort of guy who wishes ill will. Filmmaking is hard enough.”
Added Jackson: “If somebody makes a good film or TV show, it’s something to celebrate. The one thing I am looking forward to is actually seeing it as a perfectly neutral viewer.”
Amazon Studios later responded to Jackson’s claims in a statement to THR. “In pursuing the rights for our show, we were obligated to keep the series distinct and separate from the films,” the statement to the outlet reads. “We have the utmost respect for Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings films and are thrilled that he is looking forward to watching The Rings of Power.”
A representative for Amazon Studios did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The first look inside the upcoming series aired in February 2022 during Super Bowl Sunday. The teaser trailer had fans of the franchise pondering: “Haven’t you ever wondered what else is out there?”
The minute-long clip also introduced a group of new characters, including Robert Aramayo as Beldor, Markella Kavenagh as Tyra, Morfydd Clark as Galadriel and Joseph Mawle as Oren.
The characters aren’t those of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy because The Rings of Power will take place in Middle-earth, as designed by J.R.R. Tolkien, but will follow a different storyline than the iconic films.
“Before the king, before the fellowship, before the ring, a new legend begins this fall,” the teaser states.
Not much is known of the storyline just yet, except for the presence of multiple rings. Lord of the Rings fans know that one powerful ring was the center of the epic adventure trilogy, but the Rings of Power creators explained how rings will be abundant in the Amazon series.
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“This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics. The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men,” said showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay of the series name in a statement. “Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring – but before there was one, there were many… and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere Sept. 2 on Prime Video.