A group of Catholic Tolkien fans have assembled in an effort to ensure that Amazon's upcoming The Lord Of The Rings series stay away from nudity and raunchy sex scenes.
At the time of writing the Change.org petition has over 39,000 signatures of its 50,000 goal, all signed by fans who feel the in-development fantasy show be "based and chasted". In other words, they'd rather it go much lighter on the sex than other fantasy shows like The Witcher and Game Of Thrones.
While we don't have any footage of the new show yet, take a look at the in-development Gollum video game spinoff below!
The Lord Of The Rings has never exactly been a particularly sexual franchise, of course. Still, the petition brings up months-old (and completely unsubstantiated) rumours that Amazon has hired "intimacy coaches" and asked that actors be okay with "nude scenes". Again, these are wild and unconfirmed reports, but that hasn't stopped certain fans from arguing that nudity and sex would go against the grain of Tolkien's work, which is "truly wholesome and packed with incredible Christian symbolism."
While Tolkien was a Catholic, it might be going a bit far to say that his "memory does not need to be stained with gratuitous nudity or even nudity in the slightest." Much of his work was geared towards being more family-friendly, but that's not to say The Lord Of The Rings never explored more adult themes. Does the TV show need sexually explicit content? My gut reaction would be "no", but it all depends on the context.
"Tolkien, a principled Roman Catholic, would inherently disapprove of the secular inclusion nudity to his life work," argued one of the petition's supporters. "Such an action is utterly disrespectful to his estate and legacy."
We have no idea how much more tailored to adults the new series will be, although I'd be genuinely surprised if Amazon weren't trying to get a slice of the grown-up fantasy pie that Netflix and HBO have been enjoying with The Witcher and Game Of Thrones respectively.
What we do know is that the show is a prequel set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit, and long before Frodo Baggins left the Shire to destroy the One Ring.
"Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth," reads the official synopsis. "From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone."
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