With Amazon, J.D. Payne, and Patrick McKay's The Lord of the Rings prequel series set to begin its journey on September 2, 2022, and pre-production on the second season set to kick off at the start of the new year (more on that in a minute), Deadline Hollywood is reporting exclusively that the streaming series is looking to bring aboard a very influential creative name from the original trilogy of Middle Earth films. Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore (Hugo, The Departed) is reportedly in talks to compose the music for the streaming service.
Last month, Amazon announced the prequel series would be moving production from New Zealand to the UK for Season 2. 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. the advantages to the production 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.