It’s official: Amazon Studios will shoot their Lord of the Rings series in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Pre-production on the new JRR Tolkien adaptation has started and production will push forward in Auckland in the coming months. Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding JRR Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
In an official press release, showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay had this to say: “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 JRR 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. 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.”
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JA Bayona (A Monster Calls, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) will direct the first two episodes and also serve as executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza. Other executive producers include 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).