The upcoming TV series from Amazon Studios based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books will follow in the footsteps of its theatrical adaptations by heading to New Zealand to shoot. The original trilogy of films were shot concurrently in one massive, year-long shoot before the film series became a worldwide phenomenon, allowing the production to stay off the radar and utilize the gorgeous landscapes to convey the fantastical lands of Tolkien's works. Since those films debuted, tourism to New Zealand has seen a massive surge, with the release of the three The Hobbit films also earning a bump in visitors.
"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, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff," showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay shared in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. "We're happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings."
They added, "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."
The series will be set before the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, with the pilot set to be directed by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona.
"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," Bayona previously shared. "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."
While the details of the plot are relatively unknown, the amount of time the series is set before previously explored characters will allow the narrative a substantial amount of freedom, so long as it doesn't contradict the works of Tolkien.
Stay tuned for details on the Lord of the Rings TV series, which is set to begin shooting next year.
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