Who Should Write the 'Lord of the Rings' TV Series?

The news that Amazon plans to adapt the Lord of the Rings book series into a television show exploded across the internet, despite very little actually being known about the plot. The show is said to take place before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, but that is the only vague detail we know so far. It seems like it will all come down to which auspicious visionary comes up with the best take on the material. We've compiled a list of some established television showrunners we think could bring the beloved novels to life in interesting ways.

Bryan Cogman
Game of Thrones is a critical and ratings juggernaut that no doubt spurred the inspiration for Amazon to find its own fantasy hit. While Thrones showrunners Benioff & Weiss are sure to be burned out on fantasy series and busy with their new show, Confederate, Amazon might still look to that well for talent. Bryan Cogman has been a writer and producer on Game of Thrones since season one, so he is very familiar with the ins and outs of making an epic fantasy series work.

Cogman has also been tapped to pen the screenplays for live-action Magic: The Gathering and The Sword and the Stone films, as well as creating and developing his own potential Game of Thrones spin-off. He's a busy man, but Lord of the Rings seems like something he'd make room for.

Noah Hawley
Already proven to be able to adapt both film and (comic) books for television, Fargo and Legion's Noah Hawley would certainly have a unique take on the material. Picture a slow-burn caper in the seedier parts of Middle Earth, featuring trippy sequences because someone spiked the lembas bread.

Hawley is another writer who might be too busy running a show like Legion to dive into Middle Earth, but he'd certainly make for an interesting choice.

Damon Lindelof
My personal favorite showrunner, Damon Lindelof is the man responsible for bringing us Lost and The Leftovers. While he is currently busy adapting a different beloved property to television (Watchmen), I shudder to think of how well Lindelof could lend himself to this material. He's got a proven track record in crafting an excellent ensemble and sending them on epic adventures. Throw in some struggles of faith and a little bit of mystery, and you've got yourself an exciting Lindelof/Rings brew.

John Ridley
John Ridley won an Oscar for writing the screenplay of 12 Years a Slave in 2014, then turned his attention to television for the critically lauded, if under-seen American Crime. Ridley could potentially bring his talents for showcasing the unappreciated and disrespected as they rise up and achieve the justice they deserve.

Steven S. DeKnight
If Amazon is looking for someone that can match the sex, violence, and compelling storytelling of Game of Thrones, they need not look further than Steven S. DeKnight. Showrunner on Starz' Spartacus series, as well as the first season of Marvel's Daredevil, DeKnight is a man that not only knows how to craft excellent action sequences, but also gives insight into how that action affects his characters. He is currently in post-production as the director of Pacific Rim: Uprising, but has yet to lock in a followup project. Lord of the Rings just might be the perfect fit.

Vince Gilligan
Wishful thinking? Maybe. Excellent choice? Hell yeah. Vince Gilligan is the man responsible for Breaking Bad, hailed by many as one the greatest television shows of all time. You can't find much better hands to trust Lord of the Rings in. I'd love to see Gilligan's take on the material. I'd trust any take he decided to pursue.

My personal idea is a bit of a Breaking Saruman, with the series focusing on Saruman and Gandalf's arrival in Middle Earth with the rest of their party of wizards. We could see the beginnings of the dissolution of their friendship, as well as Gandalf starting his journey to become the hero audiences love and Saruman's corruption by Sauron.

Whoever is chosen is sure to have lofty expectations to meet, but I believe this group has what it takes to get the job done. Let us know who you would like to see write the Lord of the Rings television series in the comments below!