Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An animated Lord Of The Rings prequel movie is now in development

New Line is developing The War Of The Rohirrim without Peter Jackson

Actors from a Lord Of The Rings stage production
Actors from a Lord Of The Rings stage production
Photo: Gareth Cattermole (Getty Images)

Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy proved that it’s hard to make good Lord Of The Rings movies, and Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings TV show is similarly proving that it’s very expensive to do anything on that kind of epic scale these days, so Warner Bros. and New Line have landed on a more economic solution to keeping the Lord Of The Rings brand alive—and it’s one that the Lord Of The Rings brand has already tried in the past. We’re talking about cartoons, with Deadline reporting that New Line and Warner Animation have announced a new “anime title” called The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim. Peter Jackson is not currently involved, but Return Of The King screenwriter Philippa Boyens will serve as a consultant and anime director Kenji Kamiyama (he worked on Ultraman and some Ghost In The Shell stuff, specifically Netflix’s SAC_2045 reboot).

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The War Of The Rohirrim is based on Helm Hammerhand, King Of Rohan, who lived some 250 years before the events of the movies, and Deadline says it will “expand the untold story behind the fortress of Helm’s Deep.” In other words, it’s a prequel about the big castle from that battle scene that everyone liked in The Two Towers 19 years ago. Deadline also describes it as a “companion piece” to the Jackson movies, which seems to mean that it will take place specifically in that universe and not the book universe (or some amalgamation of the two).

What Deadline does not mention is whether or not there will be any songs in this movie, but come on, if they’re going to do more animated LOTR movies, they’ve gotta put some songs in there! The Rankin/Bass Return Of The King from 1980 had some cool songs, and it would be nice fan service for a very small subset of fans to throw “Where There’s A Whip, There’s A Way” in there.