Well, Hollywood is going to turn into a bidding war for the rights of Middle Earth, as Saul Zaentz Co. has decided to sell their Tolkien holdings. As such, it means the movie, merchandising, gaming and live events rights to his properties will go on sale. ACF Investment Bank is currently handling the sale with an estimated $2 billion as its current predicted value. The timing of course comes hot off the heels as Amazon started promoting their upcoming original series Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Amazon currently leading the pack on purchasing the rights, which is fitting given their current work.
It’s quite the sell if any of the major names currently can get their hands on it. Netflix has been hunting franchise after franchise to create their own extended IP library. So, one of the most iconic fantasy franchises will definitely be on their radar yet given the close relationship, Amazon seems like the likeliest buyer.
If you’re wondering why Warner Bros. isn’t involved, the rights returned to Zaentz Co. last year, as the rights ran out for not producing any projects involving the Tolkien books. It seems that the overall interest in developing more projects had sold the company on selling the rights, especially as Amazon made a deal directly with the Tolkien estate for their series.