Twenty years after Peter Jackson’s trilogy masterpiece, Lord of the Rings, it’s looking likely that fans will once again see cinema tackle Middle-earth with Warner Bros and New Line signing a multiyear deal with Swedish gaming giant Embracer Group (which holds the film rights to the property) to make more unsolicited adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

The mega deal, which is yet to be disclosed, will allow Warner Bros to develop features based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit; whether that means rebooting the existing films or tackling some of Tolkien’s other Middle Earth novels, remains to be seen.

In a joint statement to Variety, Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, said “[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.”

While it’s not known in what direction the new films will be made, any future project/s will be developed through the Warner Bros production company, New Line Cinema (which produced the trilogy made by the director Peter Jackson between 2001 and 2003). The original films, which are arguably considered the best trilogy ever made, grossed almost US$3bn globally with the third instalment, The Return of the King, taking home 11 Oscars including Best Picture.

“Following our recent acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, we’re thrilled to embark on this new collaborative journey with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Pictures, bringing the incomparable world of JRR Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways,” said Lee Guinchard, the chief executive of Embracer Freemode.

“We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Pictures, we plan to honour the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.” Embracer acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings films, games, merchandise, theme parks and live productions in 2022 when it bought Middle-earth Enterprises.

With the news set to please some, other die-hard fans of TLOTR franchise are worried about whether the legacy of Peter Jackson’s work will be affected at all, with one Instagram user saying  “Do. Not. Touch. The. Greatest. Trilogy. Of. All!” and another commenting, “STOP THIS NOW! Peter Jackson’s saga is PERFECT, nothing to add.”

For now, New Line and Warner Bros Animation are working on The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, an animated film set 183 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. The movie is slated for a 2024 release. Amazon Prime Video will also continue with the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a show that cost more than US$450m to make and has been greenlit for a second season.

Has the news inspired you to return to Middle Earth? Why not stream The Lord of the Rings trilogy, now available on Netflix.