Amazon's Lord of the Rings television series has landed its first cast member. According to Variety, Markella Kavenagh has signed on as a character named Tyra. All other details about the character are being kept secret for now. Kavenagh's credits include roles in the sequel series to Australian film Romper Stomper and television roles in The Cry and Picnic at Hanging Rock. Her reps and Amazon both had no comment on the report.
Amazon tapped Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director JA Boyana to direct the pilot episode of its the new 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," said Bayona when the news broke. "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 will also executive producer with producing partner Belén Atienza. The Lord of the Rings is being written with a writing room led by JD Payne and Patrick McKay. Game of Thrones alum Bryan Cogman is consulting on the series.
"We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series," said Payne and McKay. "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."
"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," said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. "We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can't think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth."
"I've sat with Simon Tolkien [JRR Tolkien's grandson] for a couple of hours, and (Amazon TV executive) Sharon (Tal Yguado) has spent tons of time with them," Salke said in June 2018. "She had spent the last couple of months meeting anyone who had said, 'I'm really passionate about it and I want to get in and talk about the show and what's possible.' I think you'll see us honing in on a strategy in the next month, which might involve a group of writers. Clearly, there'll be someone in charge, but it involves the estate and Peter Jackson, and there's a lot of conversations."
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