Jeff Bezos made a surprise appearance at the global premiere of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” last night — and thanked listeners for ignoring his notes on the series.
The Amazon founder traveled to London’s Leicester Square for the premiere of a big-budget TV show to establish the importance of the company.
Bezos, 58, opened the first two episodes of the series by honoring showrunners Patrick McKay and John D. Payne.
“Every listener’s dream — and I mean every listener — their dream is to get notes on scripts and opening cuts from the founder and executive chairman,” joked the Amazon boss. “They loved it. I want to thank you both for listening to me whenever it helped, but mostly for ignoring me at the right time.
Bezos acknowledged that some people “questioned” Mackay and Payne’s choice because they don’t have the profile of major credits, but expressed gratitude that they were ultimately selected.
“The best decision we made was to bet on this relatively unknown team. Some even questioned our choices. But we saw something special,” Bezos said.
“J.D., Patrick, thank you for taking this and giving your full contribution to it. Everyone in this audience, you all are going to see that we made the right choice,” he continued.
Bezos – also known as J.R.R. was introduced to the books by Tolkien by his grandfather – a self-proclaimed “Lord of the Rings” fan, and passed his love on to his children.
“My grandfather introduced me to Tolkien,” Bezos said. “I fell in love immediately. I was probably 13 or 14. I fell in love with adventure, of course, with the expansive universe, with feelings of hope and optimism, with the idea that everyone has a role to play. And I am happy to report that this trend continues even today.”
“My children have also become Tolkien’s fans. In fact, one of my boys, I think, reaches the level of a Tolkien scholar – he knows a lot about this universe, ”he continued.
Bezos’ son has become so invested in the world of “Lord of the Rings” that he even offered some advice to his father.
Bezos shared, “He looked me in the eye, very honestly, and he said: ‘Dad, please don’t let this affect you.
Bezos admitted what a privilege it is to work on Lord of the Rings and what a huge responsibility it is to fans.
He ended his speech on a high note with a classic Tolkien quote saying, “All those who wander are not lost.”
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke thanked Bezos for “starting this journey many moons ago,” as well as the cast and crew and the Tolkien estate “for their trust and partnership.”
The series dates back thousands of years to the original films and features new, diverse characters who will modernize the series.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series premieres on Amazon Prime Video on September 2.