Tag: Amazon

‘Jurassic World’ Director for Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’

J.Al. Bayona, the director who got his big break with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, will be directed the first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings.


Amazon's map of Middle Earth

Image Via Radio Times

With Amazon going full speed ahead with the Lord of the Rings television series, this is the first big news about who’s running the show that we’ve gotten. Before this, we knew that the television series will set during the 3,441-year period, known as the Age of Númenor, or the Second Age.

For the record, the Second Age is about 3441 years that ends the downfall of Sauron’s army when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.


Saurdon's defeat

Image Via Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange


Instead of taking a children’s book written by Tolkien and trying to haggle it into something resembling into Lord of the Rings, something which Tolkien himself tried and failed at (detailed in Rateliff’s The History of The Hobbit), this new series isn’t based on any specific work by Tolkien but will act as a prequel to Lord of the Rings.



This is a full swing effort in trying to bring the tone of Lord of the Rings and its history and somehow create an original story, and Amazon is pulling all the stops, reportedly preparing to spend at least $1 billion in addition to the $250 they spent to outbid Netflix for the rights.


Patrick McKay and John D. Payne

Image Via Rotten Tomatoes

The crew currently consists of show creators Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, both un-credited writers for Star Trek Beyond and who are working on a screenplay for Flash Gordon. As for Peter Jackson, whose name is synonymous with Lord of the Rings.


Peter Jackson exhausted

Image Via Reddit

Also, Peter Jackson will not be left to the sidelines.


J A Bayona

Image Via UPI.com

Adding to this short list of television show creators is Juan Antonio J.A. Bayona. A key hire, Bayona will direct the first two episodes.

Deadline quotes the director as saying:

J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team…I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.

Bayona will be responsible for giving audience their first, and second, impression. From the opening shot to the credits, Bayona will have to get the audience hooked for good. Will he succeed?



Well, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, his only major film production, hold a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.45/10. However, on a personal note, I think that movie was doomed after the shooting script was approved.

Still, the question remains, is Bayona up for the challenge?


Jennifer Salke
Image Via Hollywood Reporter


Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, surely thinks so. Comicbook.com quotes her as saying:

The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for the Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén,…We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.

Salke infamously spoke to sat with JRR Tolkien’s grandson, Simon, after the rights were acquired. Historically the Tolkien family has had a tumultuous relationship with the film adaptations.


Christopher Tolkien

Image Via tolkien.co.uk

Christopher Tolkien, J R R Tolkien’s last surviving son, pent an enormous amount of time by editing and publishing thousands of pages of Middle-Earth material his late father left behind. However, when Jackson tried to meet with Christopher he was rejected and Christopher voiced his displeasure even before a single frame of the triology was shot, latter noting that, “[t]hey eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged fifteen to twenty-five“.

In fact, a little while before the deal with Amazon was reached, Christopher Tolkien had stepped down from the director of the Tolkien estate.


Simon Tolkien

Image Via The Guardian


However, Simon Tolkien hasn’t been receptive to all adaptations. Notably the Tolkien estate disavowed the film based on the Father of Fantasy, and the film went on to make $7.8 million of off a a $20 million dollar budget.

How will this adaptation do? It’s not based on any specific work by Tolkien, and that might prove to be this adaptation’s greatest asset or its greatest handicap.

Can this show give us a story tonally similar to Lord of the Rings but still stand on its own? Or will its fall under the weight of Tolkien? That is now in the hands of J. A. Bayona.


Featured Image Via Screen Rant

Amazon Pulls Book by Mackenzie Lueck’s Suspected Murderer

Amazon has pulled the self-published book by suspected murderer Ayoola Ajayi following the news of his arrest on suspicion of the murder of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck, whose remains were discovered last Wednesday. The twenty-three-year-old was majoring in Kinesiology at the University of Utah.


Mackenzie Lueck-1

Image Via Salt Lake Tribune


Lueck was returning  from California where she had attended her grandmother’s funeral and reportedly “took a Lyft from the airport to a park north of Salt Lake City, where she met someone in the early morning hours,” writes the Standard. Her body was recovered last Wednesday.




Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown told the press:

In the wake of this tragic, tragic incident I am relieved and grief-stricken to report that we have recovered Mackenzie Lueck in Logan Canyon. The remains of Mackenzie Lueck were discovered in the backyard of Ayoola Ajayi, thirty-one. He previously attended the University of Utah where he was “arrested on suspicion of having a stolen an iPad, a misdemeanor” in 2012 and investigated for rape in 2014. His ex-wife told the Daily Mail the last time she saw Ajayi he “chased me into the street with a knife and and cut me in the hand. I didn’t go to the police but I moved out of my apartment so he couldn’t find me”.

Despite this, Ajayi’s only concrete criminal history he had in Utah were some traffic violations.


Cover of "Forge Identity"

Image Via Amazon

Notably, one year ago Ajayi self-published a book on Amazon titled Forge Identity.

The New York Post writes that the description for the book read:

Ezekiel was almost 15 when he witnessed a gruesome murder. An angry mob burned his neighbor alive in the street and the man died at his feet. Sadly, it was not the last time he witnessed such horror

The New York Times reports that investigators were aware of the self-published book, which boasted “Inspired From True Events” on its cover

The book has since been taken down by Amazon and Ajayi “is being held without the opportunity to post bail”.

CBS News writes that Mackenzie Lueck was “a bubbly, nurturing person was a member of a sorority and a part-time senior at the University of Utah studying kinesiology and pre-nursing,” but she was more than that.


Mackenzie Lueck-3

Image Via theU – University of Utah


She was a student, a daughter, and a human being. Our thoughts are with Mackenzie and her family. May her memory live on.

“She had a way of making you feel special,” Kennedy Stoner, MacKenzie’s friend and former sorority sister recalls, “She loved helping people and always had a smile on her face. She always put others before herself.”



Featured Image Via KUTV 

Barnes & Noble Will Be Sold to Elliott Management

According to NPRthere is big news in the publishing world for bookseller Barnes & Noble. Eight months ago, Barnes & Noble revealed it was exploring possible avenues for a potential sale. Now, Barnes & Noble revealed in a press release on Friday that it had reached an agreement with Elliott Management and will be sold to the corporation for 683 million. This move will mean Elliott Management will own the largest bookseller in the United States, which unfortunately has been suffering as of late. Much like other physical bookstores, Barnes & Noble is facing stiff competition from online competitors: primarily Amazon, which today dominates the book world. Amazon regularly sells over 50% of books, leaving bookstores such as Barnes & Noble in the dust. For the past several years, Barnes & Noble has seen its revenue slid downward slowly but surely, presenting numerous challenges for Elliott with this newfound sale to the corporate giant.


A man walks past Barnes & Noble in New York City

Image via CNN


James Daunt will act as the CEO for Barnes & Noble. Recently, he helped British bookstore Waterstones turn its profits around and pull itself from a similar slump to the one Barnes & Noble has found itself in. Elliott’s financial backing, with 34 billion at least in store, should prove a boon for the struggling giant in booksellers. In any case, the deal will be finalized in September, and we’ll see if the deal pays off.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!



Featured Image Via NPR 

Amazon Is Putting Award-Winning Independent Bookstores Out of Business


Just to clarify, that’s very much a sympathetic “duh” —a begrudgingly uttered duh. The type of sound which escapes ones’ mouth when reason violently overcomes any and all romantic notions. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon. No going to the mall and wastefully spending minutes on “browsing” or avoiding awkward encounters with school mates you thought you’d never have to see again; however, some things are better off experienced the old-fashioned way: suspenders, cast iron pans, photo albums (not really) and bookstores.

According to an article posted on The Guardian’s website, Wenlock Books in Shropshire (county in the UK bordering Wales *warranted a Google*) and Camden Lock Books in London are closing. Wenlock Books has been around since 1991 and Camden Lock Books since 2001. Both establishments are citing the overwhelming increase in online competition as the main reason for defeat.

Anna Dreda, owner of Wenlock Books (also independent bookseller of the year in 2006 and founder of the Wenlock Poetry festival) has worked at the shop since the beginning.

Image Via Theguardian.com

“I never came into bookselling thinking I’d make a lot of money [but] the high street has got quieter and quieter and I suddenly realized I just can’t afford to do this anymore. Amazon has been the biggest thing. The number of times people come and look at the book on the shelves and say, ‘I’ll order that on Amazon.’ I’ve heard that over and over again. I have lost so many customers who used to be my bread and butter and I don’t believe people have stopped reading, I just believe they’re buying online and that’s the way it’s gone. And I think that’s the way the high street as a whole has gone.”

She also wrote a closing notice letter to her customers that read, “trading conditions are such that I have been running at a loss for some time now and I’m afraid I’m unable to find the energy, stamina or financial resources to turn things around, especially as our high street is so quiet.”

Image Via Theguardian.com

Jason Burley, owner of Camden Lock Books reiterated Dreda’s comments.

“It’s not a terribly profitable business, to be honest,” said Burley. “There’s been endless upset from customers [at the news]. One was in tears when I told her. It is such a shame.”

Although independent bookstores have flourished in recent years due to the sense of community it provokes, hearing about the closing of two long-running small businesses, especially when they’ve been reviewed as quirky and endearing gems by the people who frequent them (I’m sure they’d say that)—stings. Convening with other story aficionados on a daily basis is better than free meals at Ikea. I can’t imagine how hard it is walking away from something that has been such a big part of your life; especially when that thing is a bookstore.

season 2 party GIF by Portlandia
Image Via Giphy.com



I totally love buying my books on Amazon though; I’m not going out there—the world is dark and full of terrors.




Featured Image Via Uvillage.com

Atlas Entertainment to Adapt Joseph Finder’s ‘Judgement’

Exciting news for fans of Joseph Finder! According to Variety, Atlas Entertainment has acquired the rights to adapt Joseph Finder’s thriller Judgment into a television series. The novel centers on Juliana Brody, a powerful judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts. After a one night stand, she realizes she’s being blackmailed and her one night stand has been saved on video. As her life spirals out of control, to save her career and maybe even her life she has to become as ruthless as her enemies to survive. Charles Roven, who produced The Dark Knight and Wonder Womanwill serve as executive producer of the series.


Charles Rovan of Atlas Entertainment stands before a backdrop with a baseball bat

Image via Deadline

Roven expressed eagerness to adapt the book, which was originally published in January 2019. Jacob Finder also expressed eagerness to work with the team to bring his ‘tough, nuanced character’ to television screens. It is unsure when the series will land at this point but the drama seems perfect in this age of peak TV.

Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!


Featured Image Via Amazon