‘The Rings of Power’ Isn’t Trying to Imitate Peter Jackson, Says Showrunner

Image via Amazon Studios / The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power consults with Peter Jackson and his scriptwriters, brings in Tolkien expert Tom Shippey, hires Weta Workshop to work on sets and Weta Digital on visual effects like in the movies, and last but not least, hires Howard Shore to score the new Prime Video series. But showrunner Patrick McKay insists they’re not trying to emulate the movie trilogies, but rather do their own thing with Tolkien’s expansive mythology.

In a conversation with Empire Magazine to promote the return of the King of Fantasy, McKay said that when it comes to influences, the only question they care about is, “What would Tolkien do?”

Anyone approaching the Lord of the Rings on screen, it would be wrong not to think how absolutely right Jackson is,” he said. “But we’re fans from afar, that’s all. power rings don’t try to compete with him. You can force yourself to keep up with the Joneses, but one of the mantras about it was “go back to basics…What would Tolkien do?”

Some of these other competing properties – they play an octave just fine, but Tolkien was playing every note on the piano. He had this variety of tones. There is the fantasy, the friendship and the humor that Harry Potter is so beloved – but there’s also sophistication, politics, history, mythology and depth. So for us, it was about deepening who we are, rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

It seems that despite all the help Amazon Studios has received from the veterans of Middle-earth who worked with Peter Jackson to bring Tolkien’s world to life all those years ago, the series chooses to follow a different way, at least in terms of the themes and overall tone. Sure, maybe the world design will remind you of some imagery from the trilogies or its unforgettable musical motifs, but ultimately, power rings is the culmination of the work of thousands of people, many of whom have never worked on this world or even the high fantasy genre before.

Let’s hope time proves that Amazon’s massive $460 million budget for the first season of this ambitious endeavor didn’t go to waste when the show premiered on September 2.

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