In a surprise appearance, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos introduced the London premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, offering a few comical words about the series, including how his son told him "not to eff up" the iconic series.
"My grandfather’s the one who introduced me to Tolkien," Bezos told an audience that included Total Film, along with members of the cast and some of the Tolkien family. "I fell in love immediately, I was probably 13 or 14 years old. I fell in love with the adventure, of course, with the detailed universe, with the themes of hope and optimism, with the idea that everybody has a role to play.
"And I’m happy to report that that cycle continues today. My kids have become Tolkien fans as well. In fact, one of my boys I think approaches the level of [a] Tolkien scholar, he knows so much about this universe. After Amazon got involved in this project, my son came up to me one day, he looked me in the eyes, very sincerely, and he said: 'Dad, please don’t eff this up.' And he was right. We know that this world is important to so many people, we know it’s a privilege to work inside this world, and we know it’s a big responsibility."
Bezos thanked those involved with the project, including the Tolkien estate and showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne. The duo went on stage after Bezos and read out the opening paragraph of the Hobbit before introducing the cast and saying it was a privilege to watch the footage with Tolkien's own relatives. You can read our extended interview with the showrunners and cast here.
Amazon has reportedly spent almost $1 billion on the rights and production of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power's first season, so there's a fair amount riding on the show's shoulders when it arrives on September 2. While we wait for the adaptation of Tolkien's Second Age to stream, make sure you check out the best shows on Amazon Prime Video right now.