Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill has come out to criticise the Amazon spin-off series The Rings of Power and said he has no interest in watching it in a new interview.
The 77-year-old actor starred as King Théoden in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, but has now distanced himself from its TV spectacular prequel series.
The Rings of Power series is set thousands of years before the triple film franchise that catapulted stars Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis to fame.
Yet Bernard has said he is ‘not interested’ in the £1billion series, which has been in the making for years and is shrouded in secrecy.
Speaking with the Metro, he said: “It’s a money-making venture and I’m not interested in watching that or being in it. Good luck to them and all that stuff but it’s not like the real thing.”
He went on to say the beloved trilogy should have been left alone, adding: “I think they were pushing it when they made The Hobbit. The Hobbit’s a tiny book.
“They did it well – they did it really, really well. They expanded it [but] I think you can only stretch a piece of elastic so far. I think they managed it in The Hobbit because there were some really good things in The Hobbit without a doubt.”
The original three Lord of the Rings films from 2001-2003 covered the novel J.R.R Tolkien toiled over for 12 years.
But The Rings of Power, developed by screenwriters JD Payne and Patrick McKay, is based on a 150-page collection of fictional histories Tolkien created called The Silmarillion.
Like the original trilogy, the show was initially filmed in New Zealand and takes viewers back to the era in which the kingdoms rose to glory before falling to ruin.
Thousands of years are condensed into the sprawling series, packing in as much action as Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
McKay said: “It’s the story of the creation of those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each race.”
The Rings of Power became one Prime Video’s most popular shows to hit the streaming service when it dropped on the platform earlier this year.
In the course of the fantasy series' six-week run, Amazon released just one figure on its viewership, stating that the first two episodes were streamed by 25 million global viewers in their first 24 hours.