×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series to Shoot in New Zealand

Amazon Studios has set New Zealand as the location for its upcoming series production of “The Lord of the Rings,” following in the footsteps of the movies made by Peter Jackson. Pre-production on the series has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months.

“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,” said showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

The three hit “Lord of the Rings” films helmed by Jackson, himself a Kiwi, were largely shot in New Zealand, and some of the locations have since become tourist attractions. Produced by New Line Cinema, the movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy cycle earned nearly $6 billion worldwide and garnered a combined 17 Academy Awards.

The new TV series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Popular on Variety

“The scale of Amazon Studios’ series, based on ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ will create significant economic benefits and employment opportunities,” said Kerry Prendergast, chair of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC). “The New Zealand Film Commission, along with the broader industry and New Zealand partners, welcome the opportunities Amazon Studios will bring.”

NZFC chief executive Annabelle Sheehan said that the series will employ vendors from across New Zealand, and include location shooting in several regions. The main production base will be in Auckland, on the North Island.

Little is known about the plot of the “Lord of the Rings” series beyond the fact that it will explore new storylines preceding Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The show’s official Twitter account sent out an image of a map, along with the two messages: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,” as well as “Welcome to the Second Age.” In Tolkien’s mythology, the Second Age was the time during which the Rings of Power, including Sauron’s One Ring, came into existence.

J.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage,” “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom”) will direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer, alongside his partner Belen 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”).

To date, Variety has revealed that the cast includes Australian actress Markella Kavenagh and British actor Will Poulter (“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” “The Maze Runner”).

More Digital

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • Bernie Sanders Trump win

    Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: 'Their Greed Must End'

    Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled plans to launch publicly-funded broadband networks and break up big internet providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T Thursday. “Their greed must end,” the Sanders campaign wrote in its high-speed internet policy proposal. The campaign argued that high-speed internet access should be treated as a public utility, [...]

  • The Office

    Streaming Wars Heat Up Rerun Market as New Services Stock Up on Hits

    In a year in which more than 500 scripted series are on the air and new streaming services seem to debut nearly monthly, some of the biggest money being thrown around for content has gone to a handful of old TV shows, the kind that for years have hummed along evening television without much fuss. [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]

  • NOBODY’S LOOKING

    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content