Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series needs to be in production by next year, so who better to kickstart the process than Peter Jackson? The film franchise director is reportedly involved in pitching for the expensive new drama, but may not get the gig.

Even as Jackson was visibly burnt out on Tolkien after stretching The Hobbit into three films, Lord of the Rings site The One Ring claims the director is among those bidding for a creative take on the new Amazon prequel (h/t UPROXX). It was previously stated that Jackson’s lawyer “helped start a dialogue between Jackson and Amazon,” though it wasn’t clear if said talks covered direct involvement or a producer’s credit. According to The One Ring, Amazon is only making tacit overtures for the moment:

It’s also unclear if Amazon might return Lord of the Rings to its traditional production home of New Zealand, but Jackson’s involvement could push it in that direction. If you’ll recall, The Hobbit very nearly left the country over labor disputes, and Jackson frequently found himself at the center of debate. Documentary filmmaker Lindsay Ellis recently published a fascinating feature-length autopsy of the Hobbit films, including in-depth examination of Jackson’s role.

The five-season deal (including $250 million for the rights alone) is said to skyrocket to $1 billion overall, and may surpass Game of Thrones with a seasonal budget between $100 million and $150 million. The 2017 deal was also sight unseen, and had no established story details beyond the series’ status as a prequel. Additionally, neither Ian McKellen nor Andy Serkis are likely to resume any involvement with the franchise, unless perhaps Jackson comes aboard.

There’s no guarantee Jackson would take a central role, but is it time to hand Lord of the Rings over to new creative talent?

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