US retail giant Amazon, which also runs other businesses in areas such as web hosting and entertainment, has acquired the television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Amazon Prime Original has committed to a multi-season production series, exploring new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring, based on the novels written by JRR Tolkien.

The television adaptation will be produced by Amazon's entertainment division Amazon Studios, the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publisher HarperCollins and Warner Brothers' New Line Cinema.

Amazon head of scripted series Sharon Tal Yguado said the conglomerate was honoured to be working with the Tolkien Estate on the collaboration.

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"Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on JRR Tolkien's original writings," Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, said.

Specifics of the deal are currently undisclosed, but the deal is said to include a potential additional spin-off series.

New Line Cinema and New Zealand movie director Peter Jackson earned a combined total of $6 billion from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.