The Lord Of The Rings TV Series: Amazon Prime is coming up with a new prequel series set in The Second Age, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The Lord of the Rings is a pop-culture phenomenon whose fandom does not (at least in the near future) seem to cease. The bestselling novels of JRR Tolkien have adapted multiple times for various mediums (radio, film, stage) in different formats (live-action and animation). Despite the numerous adaptations, Peter Jackson’s 2001 trilogy is the only one which is remembered till date.
In 2017, Amazon Prime bagged the television and digits rights for a whopping $250 million dollars. The streaming giant is coming up with a web series that is touted to be the biggest of all time. Reuters reports that the streaming service’s forthcoming “Lord of the Rings” series could cost as much as $500 million. Ever since the announcement, the expectations have skyrocketed and the viewers are eagerly waiting for the series premiere. From its plot to release date to production status, here’ is everything we know about The Lord Of The Rings TV series.
The Lord Of The Rings TV Series Plot
In March 2018, it was reported that the show would be a prequel of sorts, taking place in the Second Age of Middle Earth. For the uninitiated, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy occur towards the end of the Third Age. Hence, the show will have a totally different setting and we can expect the back story of Sauron (The titular Lord) and Aragorn’s ancestors. It will be quite interesting to see how the story pans out because the Second Age nearly consists of 3,341 years. The makers will have plenty of material to play with.
The Lord Of The Rings TV Series Cast
Created by Patrick McKay and John D. Payne for Amazon Prime, the action-adventure web series stars big names like Robert Aramayo, Nazanin Boniadi, and Morfydd Clark. Here is a look at the complete star cast:
- Robert Aramayo
- Owain Arthur
- Nazanin Boniadi
- Tom Budge
- Morfydd Clark
- Ismael Cruz Cordova
- Ema Horvath
- Markella Kavenagh
- Joseph Mawle
- Tyroe Muhafidin
- Sophia Nomvete
- Megan Richards
- Dylan Smith
- Charlie Vickers
- Daniel Weyman
- Maxim Baldry
J.D Payne and Patrick McKay were hired by Amazon Studios to-develop the series and Peter Jackson (Director of 2001 film adaptation) was roped in to play an instrumental role in the production. It is believed that Peter was bough on board after the honing of the script and provide valuable inputs regarding the execution of the show. Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) came aboard as a consultant in April 2019. Massive set-pieces were placed in Auckland and the shooting began in January. J.A Bayona was selected for directing the first two episodes.
Amazon announced that Payne and McKay would serve as showrunners and executive producers for the series, and revealed the full creative team that was working on the project.
Executive producers: Bayona, Atienza, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, Lindsey Weber, and Sharon Tal Yguado.
Co-producer: Ron Ames
Costume designer: Kate Hawley
Production designer: Rick Heinriches
Visual Effects Supervisor: Jason Smith
Filming for the first two episodes of the series was expected to continue through May, with a four- or five-month production break planned. During the break, the footage for the first two episodes would be reviewed and writing on the second season would begin.
However, filming for the series was placed on hold indefinitely in mid-March 2020 due to the current pandemic with around 800 cast and crew members told to stay home. At the time, filming was nearly completed on the first two episodes of the series, according to Deadline. Production on the series is scheduled to resume in mid-October and continue until late June 2021.
The Lord Of The Rings Series Release Date
Despite the production being impacted due to the lockdown, the billion-dollar Amazon series is expected to premiere in 2021 only. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Salke — the head of Amazon Studios — confirmed that Amazon is targeting a 2021 debut for the series.
More details about the series
Amazon’s deal for the rights to the Lord of the Rings series include quite strict rules regarding the show’s faithfulness to the source material. So. don’t expect anything to be altered which is not according to The Tolkien Estate. Third Age of Middle-earth, in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set, is not the part of the series.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona would helm the first two episodes of the show. Bayona will direct the scripts penned by the teams of JD Payne and Patrick McKay which reportedly includes Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad) and Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones).
In February 2019, the official Twitter handle shared an interactive map of Middle-earth depicting the lands that will be featured in the series.
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, pic.twitter.com/unJj1Bpde1
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) February 15, 2019
In March 2019, a second map was released, showcasing a few more details about the landscape at the time of the series.
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. pic.twitter.com/hRmGQbOhLj
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 6, 2019
The next day, another interactive map was released. This tweets confirmed a series setting in The Second Age of Middle-earth.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
What is the budget of Lord Of The Rings Series?
Amazon Prime acquired the television and digits rights for a whopping $250 million dollars in 2017. Several months after the acquisition, The Hollywood Reporter shared the details of the deal, indicating that the series has a five-season commitment. When expenses like casting, producers, and visual effects are included, the series is expected to cost worth of $1 billion. This is huge and one of the largest budgets any series has allotted from the start. This doesn’t include the spinoff series which is also expected to come out.
Overall, it looks like Amazon is set to deliver the biggest show of all time. We are waiting with bated breath as the show is expected to premiere in late 2021.