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Never underestimate the power of J.R.R Tolkien. The first teaser trailer for Amazon's The Lord of the Rings television series — subtitled The Rings of Power — set a new Super Bowl viewership record within the first 24 hours of debuting online. Per the company's official announcement, the minute-long footage racked up a whopping 257 million online views across the planet, the highest number of any entertainment trailer (film, television, or streaming) that has ever premiered during a telecast of the Big Game.
“The response to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been immense," Ukonwa Ojo, chief marketing officer of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement. "In introducing the upcoming series to viewers, our goal has been to ensure we are positioned at the epicenter of pop culture while remaining true to the Tolkien universe. It’s been incredible to see the amazing reaction to each marketing beat that we unveiled over the past month."
Taking place thousands of years before the Fellowship was formed, The Rings of Power (premiering this September) shines a spotlight on how the dispersal of the titular objects among the different races informed the politics of Middle-earth.
"By inviting audiences to slowly get familiar with this exciting new chapter in the franchise, we have seen their excitement and insatiable appetite for more build at a feverish pace," Ujo continued. "The Super Bowl was always designed as the ultimate payoff for fans; a teaser of this magnitude deserved to be debuted during the biggest annual television and sports event of the year. This record-breaking achievement belongs to our fans, and we look forward to continuing to take them on an incredible journey leading up to the fall debut."
Lord of the Rings fans have much to look forward to. In addition to the Amazon show, Warner Bros. is currently working on an anime-inspired feature film The War of the Rohirrim. Slated for a theatrical bow in April of 2024, the movie is set two centuries before the events of The Hobbit and will explore the creation of Helm's Deep.
Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus) is attached to direct, though a voice cast has yet to be finalized. Philippa Boyens, a co-writer on Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning trilogy, will executive produce.
“I’m in awe of the creative talent who have come together to bring this epic, heart-pounding story to life, from the mastery of Kenji Kamiyama to a truly stellar cast,” Boyens told Variety.
“The Lord of the Rings films took Tolkien’s masterwork to new cinematic heights and inspired a generation,”added Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich. “It’s a gift to be able to revisit Middle-earth with many of the same creative visionaries and the talented Kenji Kamiyama at the helm. This will be an epic portrayal unlike anything audiences have ever seen.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power journeys onto Prime Video Friday, Sep. 2.