Amazon Studios isn’t playing around with its high-stakes ‘Lord of the Rings’ series, based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. For the first two episodes, the studio has hired ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ director J.A. Bayona. This won’t be Bayona’s first time behind the camera for TV, as he previously helmed two episodes of ‘Penny Dreadful’. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ made $1.3 billion worldwide.
“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. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.”
Bayona and his producing partner Belén Atienza will also serve as executive producers, but it wasn’t specified if that would just be for these two episodes or the entire series.
Head writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay said:
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series. 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.”
Both writers worked on ‘Star Trek Beyond’ but were not credited. They are also attached to the next untitled ‘Star Trek’ movie, which may or may not ever happen, and the now-scrapped ‘Flash Gordon‘ reboot. The writers room for ‘Lord of the Rings’ also reportedly included Bryan Cogman (‘Game of Thrones’) and Gennifer Hutchison (‘Breaking Bad’).
Finally, Amazon Studio’s head, Jennifer Salke expressed:
“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. We are all excited for them to join our writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”
It has been revealed that Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ will be filming in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson made his epic blockbuster film adaptations. The Amazon series will be a prequel set before ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.
Are you excited that Bayona will be helming the first two episodes?