The new coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it carries are now considered a worldwide pandemic, which has all but crippled the entertainment industry for the time being. Major movie and television productions have all been shut down as cases of COVID-19 infection continue to grow exponentially, and now we can add Amazon's The Lord of the Rings series to that list. As EW reports, Amazon has added The Lord of the Rings to a growing list of its original series, whose productions are all being halted for the foreseeable future. The series is already set for two seasons on Amazon Prime.
The Lord of the Rings series had just gotten some big ducks in a row. The series announced its lead just over a week ago (Rome and Doctor Who actor Maxim Baldry); that followed a full casting announcement that came at the start of the year. Confirmed cast members include Robert Aramayo (young Ned on Game of Thrones), Owain Arthur (The Palace, The Patrol), Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland, Hotel Mumbai), Tom Budge (The Pacific), Morfydd Clark (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Ismael Cruz Córdova (The Mandalorian), Ema Horvath (The Gallows Act II), Markella Kavenagh (Romper Stomper), Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark of Game of Thrones), Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers (Medici), Daniel Weyman (Gentleman Jack), and newcomer Tyroe Muhafidin.
We still don't know what the actual storyline for Lord of the Rings the series will be, but we have a few early details. Aramayo will reportedly play the heroic Beldor opposite Joseph Mawle as the show’s villain, Oren; while Morfydd Clark is set to play a young Galadriel. That pretty much sets this series up to be a prequel to the events of the J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books, and presumably before The Hobbit, as well. Given the extensive history behind the Tolkien's works, that could definitely be a story worth telling (when it eventually gets told).
Writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are showrunners for LOTR, which has Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom filmmaker J.A. Bayona directing the first batch of episodes. Behind-the-scenes are executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado; writer and executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad); writer and executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos); writer and executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things); consulting producers Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) and Stephany Folsom (Toy Story 4); producer Ron Ames (The Aviator); writer and co-producer Helen Shang (Hannibal); and writing consultant Glenise Mullins.