Lord of the Rings Movies Set to Be “Taken Down” from Hulu, Disney Announces

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By Black Widow

In a recent announcement, Disney revealed that several Lord of the Rings movies will be removed from Hulu, leaving fans to bid farewell to these beloved cinematic adventures.

While content shuffling among streaming platforms is not uncommon, the motivation behind this move hints at the changing landscape of the streaming industry.

Farewell to Lord of the Rings on Hulu

Disney has confirmed that three iconic movies will depart from Hulu’s library on September 30. These films include The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Notably, these movies belong to different segments of Peter Jackson’s epic Tolkien adaptations.

  • The Two Towers and The Return of the King: These films are the second and third installments of Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking The Lord of the Rings trilogy, released in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: This 2012 film kickstarted Jackson’s second Middle-Earth trilogy and also served as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings movies.

Streaming Complexities and Ownership

While these three films found a home on Hulu, it’s important to note that The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and the other two films from The Hobbit trilogy have exclusively been available through a Max add-on, formerly known as HBO Max.

The departure of these films is likely due to the intricacies of licensing and contractual agreements. Throughout 2023, several shows and movies have been removed from various platforms, a trend driven by cost-cutting measures, particularly by Disney and Warner Bros.

Lord of the Rings

Warner Bros. holds the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies via New Line Cinema. Hence, it’s expected that both trilogies will continue streaming on Max.

Uncertain Streaming Future

Although Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies are anticipated to remain on Max, there’s speculation that these films might find new homes on other streaming platforms post-Hulu. The world of streaming rights is becoming increasingly intricate, with various factors influencing where content is available.

One such factor is the issue of streaming residuals, a matter that has contributed to ongoing strikes within the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). While it remains unknown whether these factors influenced the removal of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit from Hulu, it’s worth noting that more Lord of the Rings content is in the pipeline.

Lord of the Rings

Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power, a 2022 prequel series to Jackson’s trilogies, is confirmed to have a second season in the works. Additionally, there are reports of a film reboot from Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.

As we bid adieu to The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Hulu, the dynamics of streaming content continue to evolve.

Disney’s decision to remove these films sheds light on the complexities of the streaming industry, driven by factors such as licensing, contractual agreements, and shifting priorities. While Middle-Earth may find new digital realms to inhabit, fans can anticipate more Lord of the Rings adventures on the horizon. These films will be available on Hulu until September 30.