Lord of the Rings Series Adds Black Mirror's Will Poulter

The upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series from Amazon Studios has found its first star with Will Poulter, who previously starred in the Black Mirror interactive film Bandersnatch and this year's Midsommar. Details about his role are unknown, though Variety reports that he is the first actor to sign on to the project, with Amazon yet to confirm the addition. Earlier this summer, reports emerged that actress Markella Kavenagh was in talks for a role, yet that report was never officially confirmed. The first season, which is set to include roughly 20 episodes, will head into production sometime in 2020.

The details of the cast might still be unconfirmed, but the crew behind the series is set to include 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.

The pilot of the series is set to be directed by J.A. Bayona, who delivered audiences last year's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

“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.”

Audiences have already seen six films focusing on the adventures of Middle-earth, with this new series set to break new ground. Despite that freedom, Tolkien's estate has certain restrictions on what the show can depict.

"Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something, since, as I said, very few details are known about this time span," Tolkien biographer Tom Shippey detailed earlier this year. "The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, his returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same."

He added, "But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain 'tolkienian.'"

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