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Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

 

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Dear readers, Please don’t scroll past this message!

 

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

 

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

YES, I WANT TO SUPPORT MOVIEGUIDE®!

Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke on LOTR: THE RINGS OF POWER: ‘We Knew From The Beginning That This Was Not Our GAME OF THRONES’

Poster courtesy of MMPA – Amazon Prime’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”

Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke on LOTR: THE RINGS OF POWER: ‘We Knew From The Beginning That This Was Not Our GAME OF THRONES’

By Movieguide® Staff

After five episodes of Amazon’s million-dollar show, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER, the head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, said that she and the producers are excited for future seasons.

Salke called the launch of Season 1 a “culturally defining moment for the global company.”

“There was just this adrenalized excitement that, after four and a half years, we were actually letting people see the show,” Salke said in a recent interview. “It really was a holding of hands across the company.”

Salke and Amazon understood the gamble it was to agree to five seasons when they penned a deal with the Tolkien estate in November 2017 and hoped they could impress LOTR fanbases.

In a recent Q&A, Salke said that her first project for Amazon was to bring a TV series about J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth to life.

“The essence of the project was clear from the moment I got here, because it emanated from Jeff Bezos and the whole company,” she said. “They rallied behind making this extraordinary rights deal that was also very groundbreaking for us as a company and in the industry.

“Bezos is a huge fan of Tolkien and has a great knowledge of the lore,” she continued. “The whole idea of why we got the rights to begin with was to tell the story of good versus evil — of people coming together from all different worlds to fight evil, really. That was really the essence and the heartbeat of the whole thing.”

Salke said they also wanted to make the show appropriate for families to watch together, a rare endeavor in today’s world of immoral entertainment.

“There’s so much darkness in the world,” she said. “Leaning into light was the other thing that was really appealing to everybody — bringing something to our global customer base that is hopeful and has light and that a family can watch. So many people have grown up with this literature, and we wanted this series to pay it forward for new generations of Tolkien lovers.”

Salke added that fans made their opinion known from the outset and said they did not want to re-create another show like GAME OF THRONES.

“The line we’ve been using is ‘If you’re old enough to read the books, you’re old enough to watch the show.’ We knew from the beginning that this was not our ‘Game of Thrones.’ In fact, the fans spoke up from the minute the deal was closed, saying, ‘Please don’t try to insert sex and a level of provocative violence,’ things that don’t feel true to the stories that Tolkien wanted to tell,” she said.

So far, reception to THE RINGS OF POWER’s adherence to the tone of Tolkien’s original work is a bright spot for Salke and Amazon Studios.

“We’re cresting toward 100 million customers having watched it so … It’s a big number,” she said. “We can’t wait to get more info on how the audience all breaks down. We really anticipate, with these last three episodes, a huge turnout, because it’s all coming together and curiosity is at a fever pitch. And these last few episodes are the strongest in the season, because they’re not just about the setup. They’re excellent.”

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of LOTR: THE RINGS OF POWER reads:

The first episode of RINGS OF POWER has a moral compass and Christological references, which accompany intense battle scenes and gruesome creatures. The first episode moves quickly and has constant jeopardy and many positive references to true faith, such as “the true king will return.”

Movieguide® previously reported of the show:

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER creator Patrick McKay recently assured fans that the new Amazon Prime series, which he co-created with J.D. Payne, is more than ‘vaguely connected to J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved work.

The multi-million dollar production received criticism early in its conception as loyal LOTR fans feared it would take too much creative license and ruin Tolkein’s fantasy world of elves, hobbits, orcs, wizards and more.

“I just want to sort of quibble with the ‘vaguely connected,’” McKay said. “We don’t feel that way. We feel like deep roots of this show are in the books and in Tolkien. And if we didn’t feel that way, we’d all be terrified to sit up here. We feel that this story isn’t ours. It’s a story we’re stewarding that was here before us and was waiting in those books to be on Earth. We don’t feel ‘vaguely connected.’ We feel deeply, deeply connected to those folks and work every day to even be closer connected. That’s really how we think about it.”

Fans also worried that Amazon Prime would try to hard to replicate the success of GAME OF THRONES, but McKay put those rumors to rest.

“I’ll take a whack at that,” McKay said. “We talked about this a lot. It comes up and and we totally understand where the question comes from. We don’t think of the show in terms of what genre or other shows that might be out there. We think about [Tolkien], his life’s work was creating this world. This is Tolkien’s Middle Earth and regions beyond Middle Earth and we just wanted to be true to that and sort of drown out and forget about what might be happening in another realm someplace else…. Tolkien’s work is endlessly applicable across cultures and across across times, and we feel really grateful to be able to bring it to life in our time.”

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.