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Amazon will go there and back again in a 'Lord of the Rings' TV series

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Middle Earth lovers may soon be able to go there and back again.

Amazon just bought the rights to turn the "Lord of the Rings" universe into a television series.

But for those who shudder to imagine a fresh set of actors portraying beloved characters from the fellowship, fear not. The show, which already has a multi-season commitment, would explore new storylines that take place before the events of the 2001 film "The Fellowship of the Ring," though it's unclear how much overlap there would be with the plot of "The Hobbit." The deal leaves room for a potential spin-off series as well.

"'The Lord of the Rings' is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen."
Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series for Amazon Studios

"We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, Harper Collins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television," Yguado said in a statement, "and are thrilled to be taking 'The Lord of the Rings' fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth."

Amazon spent around $200 million on the rights alone.

The epic film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide, though whether an interpretation on the small screen would satisfy the dedicated fan base of the books and movies is uncertain.

Fans seemed split on whether the announcement of one show to rule them all was welcome news.

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Amazon has been ramping up their presence on the small screen in recent years. "The Man in the High Castle," an alternative history drama based on a Philip K. Dick novel, is about to debut its third season in 2018. And just last week, Amazon announced an upcoming superhero drama from "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke, with fellow executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on board.

No cast or launch date have been announced yet for the "Lord of the Rings" series, and it remains to be seen whether the acquisition, like the one ring itself, will be an overwhelming power for Amazon to wield.

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