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Gee that Lord of the Rings: Gollum game sucked didn’t it, so how about a Gollum movie?

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Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was both a blessing and a curse for J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels. A blessing in that they arguably remain the greatest-ever adaptation of a fantasy world into cinema, faithfully reimagining the books’ beats and characters with a grandeur yet to be surpassed. And the curse was their success, instantly canonising Jackson’s vision as the starting point for a new extended universe spinning out from the books.

Not that this is anything particularly new—the British satirical magazine Private Eye has a running joke of referring to The Silmarillion, a posthumously published collection of Tolkien’s Middle-earth tales, as “The Sellamillion”. The Lord of the Rings has always been big business. But with franchises like Marvel, Star Wars and Harry Potter showcasing the extraordinary amounts that can be wrung out of extended universes, and the rights for everything outside of the books recently acquired by Middle-earth Enterprises (an Embracer subsidiary) in 2022, we are entering a new era of Hobbit saturation.

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