Earlier this month, Amazon, J.D. Payne, and Patrick McKay announced that their The Lord of the Rings prequel series would begin its new journey on September 2, 2022. On Thursday, we learned that the production will also be undergoing a "new journey" of sorts, with production set to leave New Zealand and move Season 2 production to the UK. Post-production on the first season will continue in New Zealand through June 2022, with pre-production on the second season kicking off in the UK after the start of the year (with the production hiring a new UK-based crew).
Two advantages to the move? It keeps the British cast and crew closer to home, with distance from families during lockdown and production having an impact on the cast and crew. Moving to the UK also gives the series more opportunities to film in other locations around Europe (increasing opportunities for second and third production options should lockdown become a factor again). "We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing 'The Lord of the Rings' series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey," said Vernon Sanders, VP & Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios. "We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One."
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.
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, Maxim Baldry, Lenny Henry, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Benjamin Walker, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Simon Merrells, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Geoff Morrell, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Sara Zwangobani, Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy star.
Amazon's Lord of the Rings series' creative team line-up includes 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. Payne and McKay are developing the series and serving as showrunners, with Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) serving as a consultant. Bayona is set to direct the first two episodes. Amazon Studios produces, in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.