‘Lord of the Rings’ Actor John Rhys-Davies Angered by Amazon Show

John Rhys-Davies
John Rhys-Davies reacts at a panel. Getty Images

Actor John Rhys-Davies, beloved by nerds for appearing in the Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings serieshas some harsh words for the folks developing a new Middle-earth TV series at Amazon. "It's just a disgrace," Rhys-Davies told Den of Geek. "I mean, poor Tolkien must be spinning in his grave."

Amazon's precious in-development series is the product of the company's partnership with J.R.R. Tolkien's estate, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. The estate had been controlled by Tolkien's son Christopher, who kept a tight grip on how his father's work could be used. After Peter Jackson completed his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, it was widely assumed that no one would be able to make another Middle-earth adaptation. But in August, 93-year-old Christopher stepped down from managing the estate, and that opened the door for something like the recently announced Amazon production.

Many predict that the series will be the most expensive of all time, which fits in with Rhys-Davies's suspicion that the whole endeavor is nothing but a soulless cash grab. "It’s not about doing it better, it’s about making more money, that’s all," he said. "If they think they can make more money, then they will."

lord of the rings cast John Rhys-Davies and the cast of “The Lord of the Rings” celebrate winning Outstanding Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2004. Getty Images

Fans of Tolkien's books and of Jackson's films have other worries regarding the series. Amazon has announced it plans to produce five seasons and a spin-off series, all occurring before the events of The Lord of the Rings. Jackson has tried something like this already by mining Tolkien's notes about the early second age of Middle-earth for new cinematic story lines. The result was his Hobbit trilogy, which didn't go so well.

So what will Amazon's plan involve? According to the mythology Tolkien devised, the first age of Middle-earth ends when the Grey Havens are established as a place for elves to escape the known world. That's after the awakening of the race of man, but before elves and men form an alliance to defeat Sauron.

Amazon hasn't set a release date for its Middle-earth series, which could mean there's still time for the idea to be cast into the fires of Mount Doom.