While the specifics on Amazon's Lord of the Rings series are still being held tightly under wraps, it appear fans have the project's first casting decision to ponder and debate. Variety reports exclusively from multiple sources that Markella Kavenagh (Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Cry) is close to signing on to the highly-anticipated epic fantasy series. While both Amazon and representatives of Kavenagh's declined to either confirm or comment, the actress is expected to play a character named Tyra.
Writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay are developing the series, with Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) serving as a consultant. Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) set to direct the first two episodes, with Bayona also serving as executive producer alongside producing partner Belén Atienza. Amazon Studios produces, in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.
"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."
– J.A. Bayona
While specific details on what viewers can expect from a Lord of the Rings prequel series are still few-and-far-between, we do know that the new stories will take place prior to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring." Also very telling are the tweets that have come out from the series' official Twitter account, which allude to the "Second Age" – a time when the Rings of Power were first revealed.
"We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series. We have been great admirers of J.A.'s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew."
– JD Payne & Patrick McKay