Hollywood filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) will direct the first two episodes of Amazon Studios’ upcoming series based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s celebrated fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings; he will also serve as an executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza.
Amazon acquired the TV rights back in November 2017 for a reported $250 million. The show will explore new storylines set before The Fellowship of the Ring, and a minimum 5 seasons of television is said to be part of the deal.
“J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”
“The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén.” added Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said Payne and McKay. “We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic, and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.”
Bayona most recently directed the blockbuster movie sequal Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide.