Geoff Morrell, Fabian McCallan and Sara Zwangobani are the latest Aussie additions to the cast of Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings, currently shooting in New Zealand.
They are among a set of 20 new actors joining the eight-episode series, including Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Simon Merrells, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham and Benjamin Walker.
The prolific Morrell most recently starred in Harrow, Fucking Adelaide, Top of the Lake, Please Like Me, Deep Water, The Code and 8MMM Aboriginal Radio.
Zwangobani has appeared in Doctor Doctor, All Saints, Packed to the Rafters, Love My Way and Home and Away, while NIDA-grad McCallan made his international screen debut in British series You, Me & The Apocalypse, and guest starred in German/Australian co-pro In Your Dreams and in Meryl Tankard short Moth.
As previously announced, Lord of the Rings is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and explores new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
Amazon is said to have paid close to $US250 million for the rights back in 2017, a deal believed to cover multiple seasons.
J.A. Bayona directs the first two episodes and serves as executive producer, alongside creative partner Belén Atienza. Other EPs include Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Callum Greene, Gennifer Hutchison, Jason Cahill, Justin Doble and Sharon Tal Yguado.
As announced in January, the cast also includes Australians Tom Budge, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin and Charlie Vickers, as well as Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, and Daniel Weyman.
Payne and McKay said: “The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is epic, diverse, and filled with heart. These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multi-year search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world to life anew. The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family. We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”
The series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Shooting was interrupted by COVID-19 but resumed in September.