Ten days after Amazon set the official premiere date for its new The Lord of the Rings TV series the streamer has announced that production on the show's second season will be moving locations. The first season of the series shot in New Zealand, previous home to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings feature film trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, but the second season will be moving to the United Kingdom. According to a press release, the shift "aligns with the studio's strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the U.K." Pre-production is expected to begin in the UK in the first part of 2022 with post-production continuing in New Zealand through June 2022.
"We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing The Lord of the Rings series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey," said Vernon Sanders, VP and Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios. "We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One."
"As we look to relocate the production to the U.K., we do not intend to actively pursue the Season One MoU five percent financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement, however we respectfully defer to our partners and will remain in close consultation with them around next steps," said Albert Cheng, COO & Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios.
Amazon's official description for the show reads: "The new epic drama brings to screens for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien's fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. Beginning in a time of relative peace, thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' books, 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."
Confirmed cast members that will star in the series includes Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones, The King's Man), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Markella Kavenagh (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials), Ema Horvath (Like.Share.Follow., Don't Look Deeper), Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones), Charles Edwards (The Crown), Will Fletcher (The Girl Who Fell), Amelie Child-Villiers (The Machine), and newcomer Beau Cassidy, in addition to many more.
Amazon's yet-to-be titled The Lord of the Rings series will be released on Friday, September 2, 2022, on Prime Video, over a year from now, with new episodes being released weekly.