When Amazon Studios purchased the rights and announced their intentions to create tv series about J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", we started wondering what stories might be told, and where they might be filmed. We're not really any closer to knowing the real answer to those thoughts, but, there is chatter that perhaps locations are being looked at right now.
According to a report from the Daily Record (UK paper), Amazon Studios location scouts have been spotted in some notable areas in Scotland:
Portree on the Isle of Skye, Dunskey Castle and Portpatrick in the south-west and Scourie in the north-west. They also visited sites around Callander in Perthshire, and Balloch Castle Country Park, near Loch Lomond.
This would be an interesting choice for the production for sure, considering both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were both filmed in New Zealand, sort of setting the expected tone for Middle Earth.
Also, there is a pretty sizeable production that already films in Scotland who's facilities Amazon Studios could theoretically use- STARZ drama series Outlander.
The Daily Record went on share a thought from an "insider" who described the Amazon scouts:
"When Amazon people scouted locations, they didn't make themselves known, acted as tourists and connected straight away with local communities."
Amazon of course hasn't confirmed anything regarding possible filming locations, production starts, or even story. Although we do have it on good authority that the first season of the first LotR series will focus on a young Aragorn, who was played in Peter Jackson's first trilogy by Viggo Mortensen.
Mortensen even offered his advice for whomever ends up playing young Aragorn son of Arathorn.
The original deal for the rights to the Middle Earth saga came with some stipulations for Amazon Studios, which kind of answer some questions about how soon we may be seeing production start- the $250 million deal requires that production on whatever project must at least start within two years of the deal happening, which happened in November of 2017. This means, obviously, that production MUST START before November of 2019. There was also the kind of cool reveal that Amazon Studios can in fact use New Line Cinema's footage from the two previous trilogies.
We'll let you know what we hear about the progression of Lord of the Rings at Amazon, we're certainly excited to see what they do with the property.