Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter:

Warner Bros. has made it official: It will be returning to Middle Earth.

On Warner Bros. Discovery’s first-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday, CEO David Zaslav said that the company is “now in the early stages of script development” for new Lord of the Rings movies, which he says they “anticipate releasing in 2026” and will “explore storylines yet to be told.”

Zaslav says that director Peter Jackson and his longtime writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens “will be involved every step of the way.”

Random news drop this morning, but its not one that should be super surprising, given that Zaslav has pushed so hard the use of WB’s existing franchises since he took over the head role there.

Thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be a remake of the trilogy, but something else in the Tolkien world. Knowing that Jackson and Boyens are involved is somewhat of a relief, but I don’t know what meat there is on the bone here.

For those who may be going, “2026? Without a script? That’s fast!” Sadly, this is the route of Hollywood now. Set the release date and work backwards. And it’s not like Peter Jackson is new to this, he infamously “winged it” during the production of the Hobbit trilogy.

Aside: Did you know there’s a CG Lord of the Rings movie that’s supposed to be hitting theaters this Holiday? Yeah. Really. For real.

EDIT: Update from Variety. Quoting a press release, the movie will be The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, and it will both star – and be directed by – Andy Serkis. Huh.