Amazon Studios has announced that its as-yet untitled The Lord of the Rings original series will film its second season in the UK.
Amazon says the shift from New Zealand to the UK aligns with its studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the UK, with many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films already calling the UK home.
The first season of the The Lord of the Rings series recently wrapped principal photography in New Zealand and is scheduled to premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries around the world on September 2nd 2022. It is reported to be the most expensive season of television ever produced, with a budget of $465 million.
“We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing The Lord of the Rings series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey,” said Vernon Sanders, VP and Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios. “We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One.”
Season 1 post production will continue in New Zealand through June 2022, and pre-production on Season 2 will begin concurrently in the UK after the first of the year.
“As we look to relocate the production to the UK, we do not intend to actively pursue the Season 1 MoU five per cent financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement, however we respectfully defer to our partners and will remain in close consultation with them around next steps,” said Albert Cheng, COO & Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios.