Will Poulter bows out of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series
The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series adaptation has hit a snag as The Maze Runner‘s Will Poulter has exited his series regular role due to scheduling conflicts. Sources report that a deal was never officially closed with the actor and that his casting was never confirmed by the streaming service.
Details are being kept under wraps for most of the cast on the series, but it is set to star Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), and Markella Kavenagh.
Following filming on the first two episodes of the first season, which are being directed by J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), the series will go on a 4-5 month hiatus for the writers room to begin mapping out the second season and to evaluate the footage shot to see what may need to be changed or improved upon.
Amazon acquired the global TV rights to the fantasy series in November 2017 that included a multi-season commitment to the LOTR series alongside a potential spin-off series, though sources report the streaming service still has to greenlight each consecutive season.
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’ 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.
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