Amazon Studios' upcoming The Lord o the Rings original streaming television series announced on Wednesday that British-Chinese director Wayne Che Yip has joined its creative staff. Yip will direct and serve as a co-executive producer for the series. Yip will direct four episodes of the new series, following Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona, who directed the first two episodes of the series. Yip is known for working on genre series including Hunters, Preacher, Utopia (Channel 4), and Doctor Who, and he's also directed episodes of Amazon Studios' other major upcoming fantasy novel series adaptation, The Wheel of Time. The Lord of the Rings series is currently in production in New Zealand.
"It is a true honor to be invited into the world of Tolkien by J.D. & Patrick and Amazon Studios. Every day I look forward to working with the incredible team here in New Zealand as we humbly contribute to the legacy of the greatest stories ever told, "said Yip in a press release.
According to the show's official synopsis, "Amazon Studios' forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone."
The series recently saw one of its cast members, Tom Budge, leave the series. Amazon will recast before the series debuts.
"Hello loves, It is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you I have departed Amazon's Lord Of The Rings television series," Budge noted on Instagram. "After recently seeing the first episodes shot over the last year Amazon has decided to go in another direction with the character I was portraying... I must thank the creative team for their encouragement towards trying something that I believed was new, exciting, and beautiful. And I sincerely thank the extraordinary cast and crew for their love, support, and friendship over what has been a very difficult and unusual experience. Alas, some things just cannot be. Destiny my mother, I thank thee."
J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay are showrunners and executive producers of Amazon's The Lord of the Rings series. Other executive producers include Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, co-executive producer Wayne Che Yip, and producer Christopher Newman.