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I have been wondering since the last movie of The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies whether there will be a book or a movie to close the gap after the end of The Hobbit where Legolas Greenleaf gets told by his father:

Thranduil: Go to the North. Meet with the Dunedain. There is a young Ranger among them. His father, Arathorn, was a good man. His son may grow to be a great one.

Legolas: What is his name?

Thranduil: He is known in the wild as Strider. His true name, you must discover for yourself.

In the Fellowship of the Ring movie, Strider (better known as Aragorn) knows Legolas and they are good friends.

Since J.R.R. Tolkien isn't here anymore to write these beautiful stories, I am wondering if someone (or maybe Tolkien himself before his death) has written a book about this gap, which could be turned into a movie.

  • See this question for reference – Phyneas Jul 29 '15 at 8:31
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    If you are interested in the universe, I suggest reading the books: The Hobbit is an easy read, The LotR will take significantly longer and the The Silmarillion is a though one as it is more of a history book than a novel. One other thing I enjoyed and still do is the MMORPG LotR Online. The main story follows the fellowship with one side arch regarding Moria and has a lot of backstory and some sequences in the past. Of course a lot of stuff is made up to have enough content for a game, but the rest follows all available writings from Tolkien. – Thomas Jul 29 '15 at 8:51
  • [Snip] Take the chat to chat, please. – Valorum Jul 29 '15 at 17:41
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    God I hope not. – Wad Cheber Jul 29 '15 at 18:32
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    @WadCheber I could barely sit through the first of the hobbit movies, so I'm right there with you. But hey, how does it hurt us who aren't going to see it anyways? If these fanbois want another movie, why not take their dollars? It's not like Hollywood is going to make this in lieu of something good... – LittleTreeX Jul 29 '15 at 18:40
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In the short term: No.

In the long term: We don't know, but possibly not.

To expand on this a little: Peter Jackson had the rights to make films based on the published books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. (The real legal situation is substantially more complicated, but that sums it up.)

The remaining rights to JRR Tolkien's work are held by his son, Christopher Tolkien. He is well known to be extremely protective of his father's literary legacy. For a long time, he has been in conflict with Peter Jackson, New Line, and Warner Brothers over money and the creative direction of the films. This article has some more details, including the following quote from Christopher in relation to the Lord of the Rings films:

They gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk. Tolkien became...devoured by his popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of the time. The gap widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become is beyond me. This level of marketing reduces to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical significance of this work.

The chances of Christopher authorising more big-budget films based on his father's work are effectively nil. Similar considerations apply to writing more books. For more than 40 years, Christopher has confined his role to editing and commenting on his father's writing. He is highly unlikely to start writing original material at this point, or allow anyone else to do so.

Christopher is 90 years old (born 1924) and will not be with us forever. After his passing, future decisions about Tolkien's work will be left to his heirs. We do not know what they will decide (and it would be unseemly to speculate too much), but it is at least plausible they will continue the direction followed by Christopher, and refuse to authorise any further adaptation or extension of Tolkien's works.

Update 2017-11-27

On 2017-08-31, Christopher Tolkien retired as director of the Tolkien estate. As it turns out, the new controllers of the estate are open to further adaptations of JRR Tolkien's work:

Now that Christopher Tolkien has retired, the “rights frenzy” for his properties can begin, as Tolkien enthusiast Michael Martinez wrote on his blog. Currently, the plans are for an Amazon series set in the world of The Lord of the Rings, which reportedly came after a bidding war between several networks. Given that Tolkien Estate incorporated in 2011 and Christopher Tolkien is no longer holding the reins, it looks to be open season for Tolkien films, shows, theme parks, or pretty much anything else you could imagine.

The Amazon series was confirmed on 2017-11-13.

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    At some point the works well become public domain. Then it will be a free for all – user46509 Jul 29 '15 at 11:22
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    @CarlSixsmith: This answer discusses in detail when that will happen. It varies by jurisdiction and may be affected by legislation in the meantime. It also depends whether CJRT is considered to have "joint authorship" of the works he has edited. Tolkien's works will become public domain in the UK no earlier than 2028 (and for The Hobbit and LOTR, no earlier than 2044). – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 29 '15 at 11:30
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    @JpHouten: Depends what you mean by "the work". The 1978 animated film will become public domain 50 years after its release, in 2028. But that applies only to the 1978 film, not the Peter Jackson films or the book. See the answer linked in my earlier comment for a detailed discussion of the law here. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 29 '15 at 12:48
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    It's worth noting that Christopher Tolkien has demonstrated a willingness to polish up unfinished drafts and release them as standalone narratives; he did this with The Children of Húrin in 2007. Although a full book about the period the OP is asking about is unlikely, and we don't know if CT is planning on doing this with any other stories, the possibility remains open that we could see new J.R.R. Tolkien books published, though the extent to which they can be considered "new" is arguable – Jason Baker Jul 29 '15 at 16:22
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    Thanks for the Christpher Tolkein quote. He expressed my opinion of the Jackson movies much better than I could and it's nice to not be so alone in that opinion, and to have company with someone who actually has a say in the estate. – Todd Wilcox Jul 29 '15 at 17:15
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As of November 2017, Christopher Tolkien has resigned as the Director of the Tolkien Estate. Apparently, Amazon has also signed a contract and obtained the rights to air a Lord of the Rings television show which is to begin shooting in 2019 and eventually, air in 2020.

It is unclear what this television show will be about; but a clear idea of it being a prequel to Lord of the Rings is a great possibility.

Tolkien has written much on Middle-Earth lore before his death in 1973; and his son had even published a few of his written work which includes books such as The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, and Beren and Luthien. This would expand the material that could be used and even open the door to other Middle-Earth films to be made. Given that it wasn't written from Tolkien, if they were to explore story lines from Peter Jackson's film trilogy of where Legolas eventually meets and finds Aragon after The Battle of the Five Armies, it seems unlikely. Though it could still be a possibility.

We do not know how much of Tolkien's written material was given over to Amazon and the stories being chosen for this show is also currently unknown. However, by 2020, I'm sure we'll know.

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