*Warning, the following is a wall of purely speculative text*
So we know that the hobby is officially changing to "Middle-Earth SBG" and we have a decent idea of what GW is going to be doing for the next 4 years. This has gotten me thinking about the films themselves.
We know that GW's has recently re-upped their license, and it would make sense if New Line/WB did this to coincide with more movies. GW will be using the Appendices for new content, which might imply that WB will be doing the same. There are also reports of WB restructuring their releases to be more franchise heavy. We already know that they are making as many DC, Harry Potter and LEGO movies as possible, and they seem to be doing everything they can to catch up to Disney. Well, Disney is releasing a pseudo stand alone Star Wars film, and WB might want to do the same with LotR. My reasoning is as follows:
Their biggest franchise of the last 5 years was the Hobbit. People might not have liked them as much as LotR, but they still made about a billion dollars each. Comparing that Jupiter Ascending and Pan, and the setting of Middle-earth is probably looking as good as (if not better than) DC and the Potterverse. So financially, it makes sense. There's also the fact that they might lose the rights to Middle-Earth if they don't produce a film in a set number of years, as is what is happening with the non-Disney Marvel movies.
From a world point of view, it also makes sense. Just like Rogue One is giving insight into underdeveloped and hinted at stories, the Appendices contain about 6,000 years of possible stories. The Second Age may be off limits due to the Silmarillion, but the Third Age is definitely up for grabs. And there is so much there that can be used.
From the point of view of the films, I legitimately think that they have been setting this up for some time now. The Witch-King was Sauron's greatest servant, but he was never really as powerful or as important as he was shown in the movies. He was shown to utterly dominate Gandalf "I totes killed a Balrog and shattered Saruman's staff with a word" Stormcrow. He wielded a 75 pound flail lime it was nothing, his Kingdom of Angmar was mentioned about 80 times more in BoFA than it ever had been before, and everyone was way more scared of it than they should have been.
All this makes me think that WB is going to announce in the next few years a "Legends of Middle-earth: The Witch-King of Angmar" single film or trilogy. A single film could potentially be long enough to deal with the fall of Arnor and Angmar, while a Trilogy could take place over the last few generations of Arnorian royalty. I would say it would work best as a single movie, maybe starting with Bilbo sitting in Rivendell, writing his book and listening to Elrond. Then it would leave open the possibility of other, standalone "Legends." Just think, Helm Hammerhand, the Kinstrife (pretty sure that's what the Gondorian civil war was called), the War in the North (which would show how truly awesome Dain was, even as a super old man), to name a few.
So what do y'all think? What "Legends" would you like to see? Am I reading way too far into unrelated bits of news? Probably!
"Leave Sauron to me."
If you're in the Raleigh, NC area, let me know.