When the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the world earlier this year, virtually all movies and TV shows halted production to quell its spread, but a new casting notice seems to confirm that production on Amazon Studios' The Lord of the Rings TV series is set to resume imminently. The virus was first detected in China before cases started popping up around the globe, forcing various governments to take decisive action to slow the spread, with the isolated nature and swift actions of New Zealand's government allowing them to slow the spread early and begin the process of reopening access to people from around the world.
News of the casting came from a New Zealand talent agency (per ScreenCrush) sharing an ad on Facebook asking for a wide variety of performers who fulfill a swath of physical characteristics. As evidenced across the six live-action films, performers of various shapes and sizes will help convey the diverse world of characters and races concocted by author J.R.R. Tolkien.
The ad describes the need for the following types of performers:
- short people under 4 foot 12 (we know that 4 foot 12 is 5 foot)
- Tall people over 6 foot 5
- Character faces, wrinkles and lots of them please :-)
- Androgynous men and women
- Hairy hairy people of all ages and ethnicities
- Tall, Long Lithe dancers
- Circus performers who can juggle, stilt walk!
- Stocky mean-looking bikers
- Eurasian people of all ages.
- Hispanic - Latino, Mexican, South American - HOLA
- Red heads all ages, shapes and sizes.
- HAIR HAIR HAIR - if you [have] natural red hair, white hair, or lots and lots of freckles.
The previous films in the franchise were also filmed in New Zealand, as its majestic landscapes made the perfect surrogate for Middle-Earth, with director Peter Jackson hailing from the region. Much like The Hobbit trilogy returned to the country following the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the various locales are intrinsically linked to the mythology and made the perfect shooting location for the new TV series.
"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, before production started. "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."
Stay tuned for details on the Lord of the Rings TV series.
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