J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, who has led the Tolkien estate as its President for years. At 93-years-old he has resigned and stepped down as president and there's no doubt that this will change everything on how J.R.R. Tolkien's work is handled from here on out.
You see, even though Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a huge hit with critics and fans, Christopher hated what Jackson did with those films. He also was the guy who was blocking any of the other Middle Earth stories, outside of The Hobbit, from being adapted.
The news of Christopher's resignation comes from TheOneRing.net and with Christopher no longer in charge, there are sure to be a lot of big things coming involving the stories and characters from Middle Earth, especially with the new series that Amazon Studios is developing. He won't be there to block certain things from being played with.
It seems like he's been preparing to retire for a while. At 93-years-old it makes sense to retire! Christopher has been dedicated his life to preserving his father’s work, and over the years he's edited and published several stories and collections involving Middle Earth. The last thing he worked on was the publication of the book Beren and Luthien, and in the preface of the book, he says “this is (preemptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings.”
The guy definitely deserves the respect from Tolkien's fans for what he has done with his father work over the years. There is honor in the work that he has accomplished. One thing I have to admire about Christopher is that he was more interested in preserving the legacy of his father than money. That mindset will probably leave with Christopher. The other remaining members of the estate are reportedly much more willing to negotiate and sell off the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s properties, so I'm sure we'll see a lot of people swooping in to try and get their hands on them. Those remaining members include J.R.R. Tolkien’s daughter, Priscilla Tolkien, and various grandchildren.
I doubt that Amazon will be the only studio that will get the rights to some of Tolkien's work. The report goes on to say:
This opens up Tolkien and Middle-earth as possible franchises in the same way that Harry Potter’s world is a place you can visit at Universal Studios or that Disney will soon have a Star Wars area. There are few properties in the world that can be talked about in the same way as Middle-earth. Warner Bros. see the value and so does Amazon.
That doesn’t mean the Tolkien Estate will move toward making the rights to “Beren And Luthien” available but it does mean my wish to produce “The Silmarillion” as HBO series is slightly less impossible than it was before. That is what has changed really. Things once impossible are now possible.
The estate may elect to only allow more content based solely on “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Or they may carefully cultivate the entire library.
It's going to be really interesting to see what happens now in bringing stories and characters from middle earth to life in film and TV. There's no doubt we'll see some big exciting things in the future with what Amazon Studio is developing an beyond.