Amazon to launch ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV show

A poster for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series.
Updated 14 November 2017
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Amazon to launch ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV show

LOS ANGELES: Amazon said Monday it had acquired the global television rights to “The Lord of the Rings,” based on the celebrated fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, with a multi-season commitment.
Set in Middle Earth, the adaptation will explore new storylines preceding Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the Internet streamer said, adding that the deal included a potential additional spin-off series.
“‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios.
The Tolkien Estate had also approached Netflix and HBO, according to Hollywood entertainment website Deadline, which reported the deal came with an eye-watering upfront rights payment of around $200 million.
The production budget will likely add another $100-$150 million a season — but Amazon is seen as having deep pockets, as chairman Jeff Bezos has challenged his creative teams to come up with a prestigious fantasy series to rival “Game Of Thrones.”
“The Lord of the Rings” was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in the BBC’s The Big Read survey in 2003.
With an A-list cast that included Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy earned almost $3 billion worldwide, scooping 17 Oscars in total.
He followed up with a prequel trilogy based on Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” which made almost the same at the box office.
Amazon said the series would be available via the Prime Video app or online in more than 200 countries and territories, but it did not announce a release date.
“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins.


58 Australian fairy penguins slaughtered in suspected dog attack

Updated 17 October 2018
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58 Australian fairy penguins slaughtered in suspected dog attack

  • The grisly find comes just months after a dozen birds were found dead on a nearby beach, also in an alleged dog attack

SYDNEY: Wildlife officials in the southern Australia on Wednesday announced an investigation into the mass death of 58 penguins they believe were killed in a dog attack.
The carcases of the fairy penguins — the world’s smallest penguin species — were found strewn across a beach in Tasmania, a island-state off the mainland.
“We would like to remind dog owners of the need to take responsibility for their animals at all times as dogs have the capacity to do a lot of damage to penguin colonies in a short period of time,” Tasmania’s department of parks, water and environment said in a statement.
The latest grisly find comes just months after a dozen birds were found dead on a nearby beach, they too are believed to have been killed in a dog attack.
“All reports of alleged unlawful harming of wildlife are regarded extremely seriously by the department,” the government department said.
Fairy penguins — who grow to around just over a foot (30 centimeters) and can live for up to 24 years — are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with Tasmania supporting around half of the global population.
Fairy penguin colonies remain under threat from increasing urbanization, traffic and domestic animals.