Top: Tyroe Muhafidin, Charlie Vickers. Bottom: Tom Budge, Markella Kavenagh.

Aussie actors Tom Budge, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin and Charlie Vickers will be series regulars in Amazon Studios’ The Lord of the Rings, due to start filming in New Zealand next month.

Kavenagh, whose previous credits include The Cry, Romper StomperPicnic at Hanging Rock and True History of the Kelly Gang, was reported as attached to the production from last July. However, Amazon had yet to officially confirm her casting in the series, led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

The Lord of the Rings will be the first major series for Tyroe Muhafidin, who has previously appeared in a number of short films including Two Sands, as well as the online series Caravan. Vickers, who has been largely based in the UK, was most recently seen in Rachel Ward’s Palm Beach, while Budge is known for roles in projects such as Last Train to Freo, Australian Rules, Judy and Punch, Son of a Gun, and series Gallipoli. 

Also in the ensemble cast are Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Joseph Mawle, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith and Daniel Weyman.

Amazon has confirmed that the first season will be eight episodes, with the first two episodes to be directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom), who is also an executive producer alongside partner Belén Atienza. Other EPs include 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).

The series will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, though little is known about the plot beyond that. Amazon is said to have paid close to $US250 million for the rights back in 2017, a deal believed to cover multiple seasons.

McKay and Payne said: “After undertaking an extensive global search, we are delighted finally to reveal the first group of brilliant performers who will take part in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series. These exceptionally talented women and men are more than just our actors: they are the newest members of an ever-expanding creative family that is now working tirelessly to bring Middle-earth to life anew for fans and audiences worldwide.”

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