We’re getting new Lord of the Rings movies, whether we like it or not.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced during an earnings call Thursday that studio heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy struck a deal with rights-holding Swedish gaming company Embracer Group that will allow them to place “multiple” new LOTR films in the pipeline.
The Return of the King, the final entry in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was released in theaters two decades ago, and currently stands as the 27th highest-grossing movie worldwide with $1.146 billion.
All three films were directed by Peter Jackson, who released a joint statement with Lord of the Rings collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, which indicated Warner Bros. and Embracer “have kept us in the loop every step of the way.”
“We look forward to speaking with them further to hear their vision for the franchise moving forward,” reads the statement from Boyens, Walsh, and Jackson, who returned to Tolkien’s world for three The Hobbit movies from 2012-14.
Back in November, Zaslav was adamant about Warner Bros. focusing on franchises during an investors call, pointing out how there hasn’t been a new Harry Potter or Superman feature in over a decade, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter. He also briefly brought up the idea of reviving LOTR.
In their own statement, De Luca and Abdy remembered how New Line “took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of The Lord of the Rings on the big screen…but for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored.”
The long vacant LOTR sandbox has suddenly become quite crowded with the addition of Warner Bros. and Amazon, which reportedly spent an unprecedented $465 million on Season 1 of the Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.