Amazon announced today that they have officially acquired global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, and that it will be working in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust to release a multi-season show that will air on Amazon Prime. Their official press release states along with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, they will also be working with Harper Collins and New Line Cinema to "bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings."
The language of the press release is quite vague, stating both that the show will be "the first ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings," but also that it will "explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring." Preceding Fellowship, you say? I don't want to say this is a Silmarillion show, but this sounds like a Silmarillion show. That is 100% speculation, but that thought has me nine kinds of nerded out and I'm going to start a re-read immediately.
To speculate further, I'd wager that every network in the universe is screaming for "the next 'Game of Thrones.'" Which is fine. "Game of Thrones" is a phenomenal show that has mainstreamed the fantasy genre and given it credibility as serious art and drama. But I would hope that networks and producers understand that the things that make "Game of Thrones" amazing will not work across all stories and worlds in this genre. What I'm trying to say is that I really hope they don't sex it up. Just give me Nazgul origin stories and Celeborn and Galadriel and if you're feeling saucy I'll take the genesis of Arda. The participation of the Tolkien estate gives me comfort, and this has the potential to be a great contribution to the Middle Earth universe.