Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can now rejoice! Amazon Studios reveals that its upcoming LOTR prequel series will begin filming soon and it will take place in none other than the real-life Middle earth we know, New Zealand.
Showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay shared in a statement that they were looking for a location that they could use to recreate the 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.”
As we already know, illustrator and concept artist John Howe was also the chief conceptual designer for Peter Jackson’s LOTR film trilogy. So with him returning to New Zealand for the LOTR prequel series this time, it’s safe to say that the look of the new show may be reminiscent of the films.
“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. We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase.”
As a longtime fan of the trilogies, I believe this is a wonderful thing because I’m used to seeing New Zealand as Middle Earth. And like the saying goes, don’t fix what isn’t broken so to make use of New Zealand for the filming is a great opportunity.
After the news of signing Will Poulter for one of the lead roles, it’s good to see the LOTR series making steady progress in its pre-production phase. According to a press release reported by IGN, Amazon confirmed that filming is scheduled to begin in Auckland “in the coming months”.
Besides Poulter, Markella Kavenagh is reported to join him in the main cast for a character named Tyra. No other names have been announced since.
According to the show’s resident Tolkien expert Tom Shippey, Amazon’s LOTR prequel series may have 20 episodes for its first season. It certainly is a big number which suggests a big-budgeted production and that the story will be given good time to develop.
We’ve yet to know if that’s confirmed. I’m looking forward to hearing more updates as the project progresses.