Lord of the Rings Fans on Sex, Nudity Rumor: We're Not Game of Thrones

Considering what we had been hearing lately from writer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and series star Morfydd Clark combined with the series starting to get the production wheels spinning again, we were expecting nothing but good things from Amazon Prime's upcoming The Lord of the Rings prequel series. Well, let's just say this next bit at least counts as a "thing"- though we're not sure the producers would classify it as "good."

lord of the rings
A scene from Game of Thrones (Image: HBO)

TheOneRing.net is reporting that the series may be looking to include nudity and sex scenes, based on two key pieces of intel (check out the full report here). First, confirming that Amazon Studios hired Jennifer Ward-Lealand, a well-known New Zealand Intimacy Coordinator, for production. As the title implies, Ward-Lealand has experience with productions that include scenes of nudity or sexual intercourse.

Their second piece of primary evidence is a casting call allegedly for the series (though not officially confirmed) that's gone out looking for actors that read: "Comfortable with Nudity? Up to $500 per day. Use reference NUDE. We need Nude people based in Auckland – age 18 plus, all shapes and sizes (Intimacy guidelines will always be followed on set)." To say that fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy series are taking issue with what they see as the "'Game of Thrones'-ification" of the franchise would be an understatement- but for now? It's all just pure speculation- and that's the fun part!

Lord of the Rings
Promo screen cap image from The Lord of the Rings series video (Image: Amazon Prime Video)

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.

"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," said Payne & McKay when the hirings were officially announced.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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