Some good news for fans of Amazon Prime's upcoming "The Lord of the Rings" series and Netflix's live-action series take on popular anime Cowboy Bebop. Deadline Hollywood reports that the "LotR" prequel has resumed filming (which was teased on social media over the past few weeks), and that Netflix's John Cho-starring series will restart production on Wednesday, September 30th. Both productions join Netflix's live-action adaptation of Jeff Lemire's comic book Sweet Tooth, which began shooting earlier this month in New Zealand.
"LotR" nearly completed work on the first two episodes when production was shuttered in mid-March. The originally-announced plan of going on hiatus after the second episode and resuming filming in September appears to still be on course, with some preliminary work already underway. In comparison, Cowboy Bebop had a double-whammy to deal with production-wise. In the midst of filming the first season, Cho sustained a knee injury that resulted in an extended series hiatus well before the pandemic shutdown.
Based on the 1998-1999 anime of the same name created by Watanabe, the Cowboy Bebop series follows Spike (former criminal with a smooth 'do and charming personality who specializes in Jeet Kune Do), Jet (former police officer), Faye (amnesiac with a sordid past who was revived after a long slumber), Ed (sly child prodigy computer hacker), and Ein (intelligent Welsh Corgi classified as a data dog). Together, the ragtag crew of bounty hunters is running from their respective pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. They might even end up saving a planet or two if the price is right.
The live-action adaptation stars Cho, Elena Satine, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell. Pilot writer Yost will also serve as executive producer, alongside Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Marty Adelstein, and Becky Clements in the United States. Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, Tetsu Fujimura, and Matthew Weinberg will serve as executive producers in Japan, with Watanabe serving as a consultant. Netflix and Tomorrow Studios are co-producing the project, with series composer Yoko Kanno returning to compose the live-action series.
Writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay are developing the series and serving as showrunner, with Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) serving as a consultant. Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is set to direct the first two episodes. Amazon Studios produces, in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. The prequel series stars Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Daniel Weyman, and Maxim Baldry.
The new stories will take place prior to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring" and look to focus on the "Second Age" – a time when the Rings of Power were first revealed. "J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team. I can't wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story," explained Bayona at the time the news was announced.
In the video below, LotR fans learned the creative team's killer line-up of talent – including Amazon's ex-genre head Sharon Tal Yguado as well as Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Tal Yguado, writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad); writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), writer/executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things), consulting producer Stephany Folsom, producer Ron Ames, writer and co-producer Helen Shang, and writing consultant Glenise Mullins. Bayona will executive produce alongside partner Belén Atienza.