Amazon Studios has announced that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot, somewhat unsurprisingly, in New Zealand. Pre-production has commenced, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the 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.”
Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring – the first of the renowned trilogy of movies from New Line Cinema and Director Peter Jackson, which earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide and garnered a combined 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture for The Return of the King.
The executive producers and showrunners for the series are J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) will direct the first two episodes and also serve as executive producer, alongside his partner, Belén Atienza. 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). Will Poulter (Midsommar) is confirmed to star.