Game of Thrones’ Joseph Mawle joins Amazon’s Lord of the Rings
Variety brings word that Joseph Mawle, known for playing Benjen Stark on the acclaimed HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, has joined the cast of the highly-anticipated Amazon series adaptation of the Lord of the Rings novels.
Though details are being kept under wraps on the character Mawle is set to play, sources are reporting he will portray a villain named Oren. The 45-year-old actor is joining a cast that already includes Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Will Poulter (Midsommar) and Markella Kavenagh.
Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Further details about the series’ characters and plot are still being kept under wraps. Production is set to begin in 2020 and will be filming in New Zealand, the same location as the film franchise.
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.
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 Lord of the Rings series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. It is expected to debut in 2021.