Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring’.
Amazon Studios has confirmed it will shoot its The Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand, with pre-production already underway and the shoot to kick off in Auckland in coming months.
“As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff. And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’,” said showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay in a statement.
“We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
Of course, New Zealand was also home to New Line Cinema/Peter Jackson film trilogy, which earned 17 Academy Awards and $US6 billion at the box office.
However, the Amazon adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels will explore new storylines, preceding ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) September 17, 2019
J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) will direct the first two episodes and also serve as executive producer, alongside partner Belén Atienza.
Other executive producers are Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Justin Doble (Stranger Things).
Among the expected series cast is Aussie Markella Kavanagh, who has previously starred in The Cry, Romper Stomper, Picnic at Hanging Rock and True History of the Kelly Gang, as well as English actor Will Poulter (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, War Machine, The Maze Runner, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
Amazon is said to have paid close to $US250 million for the rights back in 2017, a deal believed to cover multiple seasons.
The Hollywood Reporter reports an estimated production budget of more than $US1 billion.
It will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.