J.A. Bayona has signed on to direct two episodes of Amazon’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series.
In addition to directing, he will serve as executive producer on the series along with his producing partner Belén Atienza. Bayona most recently directed the blockbuster film “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” which grossed over $1.3 billion at the global box office. Bayona previously directed the critically-acclaimed film “The Orphanage,” as well as films like “The Impossible,” “A Monster Calls,” and the first two episodes of the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful.”
“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,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”
He is repped by CAA and Sloane Offer.
The series is being developed by the writing team of JD Payne and Patrick McKay. In addition, “Game of Thrones” alum Bryan Cogman has signed on as a consultant on the project. Little is known about the “Lord of the Rings” series beyond the fact it will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Variety exclusively reported in November 2017 that a “Lord of the Rings” series was in the works at Amazon, with the streamer announcing a multi-season production commitment shortly thereafter. The series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
The three film adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings,” from New Line Cinema and director Peter Jackson, earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide. The cast included Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin and Orlando Bloom. The film trilogy also garnered a combined 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.