The Lord of the Rings’ primary inspiration, The Nibelungenlied, is becoming a media franchise.
When director Peter Jackson took J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to theaters starting in the early aughts, many people seemed to believe that it might be a disaster for the films involved, as it was considered a competition to Harry Potter when first released. After all, Jackson chose to film all three initial movies back-to-back, a strategy that had never been done to the scale that the books begged for at the time. But the film series became incredibly successful, so much so that now it seems the original inspiration for The Lord of the Rings books will see more stories added to their own franchise of sorts.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, one of the main inspirations behind The Lord of the Rings series of books, The Nibelungenlied, will be turned into a feature film and there will also be a six-part event series based on the famous German poem. Written around 800 years ago by an unknown author, The Nibelungenlied is an epic poem that will be the basis of a new franchise entitled Hagen, which is an upcoming reinterpretation of the German folk saga. Several actors have already been cast in the project for Constantin Film, including The Story of My Wife actor Gijs Naber, Berlin Station performer Jannis Niewohner, Lilja van der Zwaag, and Dominic Marcus Singer.
While not the first time The Nibelungenlied has been adapted to the screen, this latest development may be the most high-profile representation of the poem since it debuted during the Medieval era. A 2004 television movie adaptation starred Alicia Witt and Julian Sands, but also served as the acting debut of future Twilight and The Batman star Robert Pattinson. Riding on the coattails of the popularity of The Lord of the Rings franchise, it appears the 2004 television movie did not reach international acclaim, but this new adaptation may be one to look out for.
Even if J. R. R. Tolkien was inspired by The Nibelungenlied before he wrote The Lord of the Rings, it is apparent that the latter is a story worth telling onscreen. The Lord of the Rings franchise has so far included three films that went on to gross close to $3 billion at the box office against a budget of $281 million for all three movies. The success of the first three films that starred Elijah Wood and Cate Blanchett inspired Jackson to later direct The Hobbit film series, which went on to gross another $2.9 billion and starred Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Since then, Amazon has chosen to produce their own prequel series of The Lord of the Rings entitled The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is currently airing its first season. The show stars Morfydd Clark, Lenny Henry, and Dylan Smith and is set before the events of The Hobbit. The eight-episode first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will conclude on October 14 and is currently available to stream on Prime Video.