After months-old rumors that Amazon may be planning to incorporate sexually explicit content in its new Lord of the Rings television production, a petition asking that nudity be kept out of the series has attracted some 15,000 signatures. 

Amazon is currently producing a multi-season television adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The series is a prequel to the story told in the trilogy, based on content from the novels. The first season is expected to arrive on Prime Video later this year.

Back in October, the blog speculated that Amazon was planning to add sexually explicit scenes to the new series.

The site pointed to the hiring of an intimacy coordinator for the Lord of the Rings series. Intimacy coordinators handle nudity and sexually explicit scenes, as well as non-explicit kissing scenes.

The site also pointed to a casting call by Britain’s Got Talent for extras who are “comfortable with partial or full nudity.”

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The casting call does not mention Lord of the Rings by name, but says it is for a television program being filmed in Auckland. The Lord of the Rings series is by far the biggest series being produced in the area. However, several other Auckland-based television shows currently in production have drawn attention in the past for their racy content.

Other observers are doubtful that Amazon is planning to move the television production in an explicit direction.

A post on noted that the Tolkien Estate is overseeing the production of the new series, and that Amazon signed a contract requiring it to stay true to Tolkien’s canon. The specifics of the limitations imposed by this agreement is unclear. 

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Joseph Pearce, Tolkien expert, author, and director of book publishing at the Denver-based Augustine Institute, said handing the project over to Amazon was an unwise decision. 

“Irrespective of the authenticity of the rumours that Amazon plans to incorporate pornographic scenes into its adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, it was always apparent that giving a corporate secularist monster like Amazon the rights to produce adaptations of Tolkien's work was like giving the Ring to Sauron,” he told CNA.