LOS ANGELES – Amazon Studios announced on Tuesday that its upcoming series “The Lord of the Rings” will be shot in New Zealand, adding that the project was already in the pre-production stage and that filming would begin in Auckland in the coming months.
The lush New Zealand landscapes already served as the backdrop for Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film trilogy – made up of “The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001), “The Two Towers” (2002) and “The Return of the King” (2003) – that adapted the classic JRR Tolkien fantasy novels.
Jackson, a Kiwi, also chose his native country to film his Hobbit saga, which included the movies “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012), “The Desolation of Smaug” (2013) and “The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014).
“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,” the series’ showrunners and executive producers, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, said on Tuesday.
“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,” they added.
Spanish filmmaker JA Bayona, (“The Impossible,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) will direct the first two episodes of this series.
“JRR 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,” Bayona said in July upon his signing.
Bayona will also be executive producer of this series along with his partner, Belen Atienza.
As of yet, Markella Kavenagh and Will Poulter are the only two confirmed actors for the cast of this promising project, which Amazon hopes will reach a success similar to the worldwide phenomenon that was HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”