JRR Tolkien originally wanted to call the final part of his trilogy The War of the Ring.
It is a title that aptly describes the online vitriol over this upcoming Amazon Middle-Earth series.
To some extent, I understand it. After all, beloved franchises like Star Wars have been plundered by people like Rian Johnson who fundamentally did not understand George Lucas or his visionary genius. Instead, he wanted to say something and Star Wars just happened to be a vehicle for that message.
One of the things that makes Peter Jackson's interpretation of The Lord of the Rings so good is that everything is done with a reverence for Tolkien. There are some serious deviations in the story and character, especially with a character like Faramir. But all of this was done in order to find a way to successfully interpret Tolkien's ideas cinematically. As a result, Jackson's trilogy is an all time classic. I heard a youtuber recently say, something akin to "Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings is so good that no one has been able to match it, even Peter Jackson." (referring to Jackson's Hobbit trilogy).
So there is a huge portion of fandom that is waiting to get sucker-punched. I don't blame them for being wary.
I try to be a bit more optimistic.
This trailer did not do anything that turned me off of the project, but it didn't do too much to excite me. I enjoy the sweeping vistas of Middle-Earth. I especially love the shot of the riders surging into battle on their horses. But right now there is nothing that is really grabbing me.
If you look at the very first Lord of the Rings teaser, it does an amazing job of pulling you in through only a few seconds and brief flashes. After going through The Hobbit trilogy, returning to Middle-Earth is not as exciting a prospect.
What I really want to see is how the characters, especially returning ones like Galadriel and Elrond, are handled by this story. Will they be radically altered away from Tolkien's vision? And if they are, will it be to turn away from the main vision, as Johnson did with Luke Skywalker or towards the vision as Jackson did with Faramir?
I do not know. But I remain open.