Amazon Confirms Lord of the Rings Series to Film in New Zealand
Likely a surprise to few, Amazon Studios has announced that its in-development Lord of the Rings TV series will shoot in New Zealand, the home for Peter Jackson’s original feature film trilogy as well as The Hobbit series. Pre-production has begun on the series with cameras expected to role in Auckland later this year.
“As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff. And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” said showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. “We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Casting for the series has been tight lipped, but previous reports revealed that Will Poulter (Midsommar, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) and newcomer Markella Kavenagh have been cast.
Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Orphanage, The Impossible) will direct the first two episodes of Amazon Studios’ The Lord of the Rings TV series and also executive produce alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza. JD Payne and Patrick McKay are showrunning and executive producing the series alongside Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Justin Doble (Stranger Things).
The highly-anticipated Lord of the Rings series will be set in the Second Age. That places approximately 3,000 years of history between the series and the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. Casual fans may not realize it, but Jackson’s Fellowship of the Rings actually depicted the end of the Second Age, when the last alliance of elves and men confronted Sauron’s forces. The Second Age covered nearly 3,441 years, and it began after the banishment of Morgoth, the dark lord before Sauron. There’s a lot of story potential in that time, including the rise of Sauron, the creation of the One Ring, and the emergence of the Ringwraiths.