EXCLUSIVE: While neither writer/director Peter Jackson nor the original cast are part of Amazon Studios’ The Lord of the Ring series, Deadline hears there may well be an important point of familiarity. Howard Shore, whose work on the Middle Earth trilogy won him three Oscars, is in talks to compose the music for the TV series.
This is an important development for a series that carries a reported cost of $465 million for its first season, making it the most expensive TV series of all time. The so-far untitled series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novels, recently wrapped principal photography on Season 1, and is scheduled to premiere on Prime Video Sept. 2, 2022. Season 1 post production will continue in New Zealand through June 2022, and pre-production on Season Two will begin concurrently in the UK right after Jan. 1, 2022.
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Amazon recently announced that move from New Zealand — where all three LOTR and three The Hobbit films were shot — to the UK earlier this year, and the elaborate sets built for the show will be shipped to the UK. It is unclear where exactly in the UK The Lord Of the Rings will shoot as part of the streaming studio’s efforts to expand its footprint in the country. Amazon, which has multiple series filming in the UK, is currently in the process of booking stages to house the sets. The late author Tolkien was English, and Tolkien reportedly based the Shire’s landscapes, climate, flora, fauna on rural England, The first season shot in Auckland.
Shore, whose film credits include The Hobbit trilogy, Twilight Saga, Hugo, The Departed, Pieces Of A Woman, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs and many others, provided the unforgettable and often ominous score that framed the stakes in the battle between Sauron’s evil forces of Orcs, Goblins, and Uruk-Hai forces against the men, hobbits, elves and dwarves in Middle Earth.
Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, The Lord of the Rings series is described as an “epic drama” set in the Second Age of Middle-earth — thousands of years before the events of LOTR and the novels by Tolkien. The series 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, 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.
Headlining the ensemble cast are Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
Payne and McKay serve as showrunners and executive produce with Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado. Wayne Che Yip is co-executive producer and directs along with J.A. Bayona and Charlotte Brändström. Christopher Newman is a producer and Ron Ames is a co-producer.
A world-renowned literary work, and winner of the International Fantasy Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, The Lord of the Rings was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in BBC’s The Big Read in 2003. The Lord of the Rings books have been translated into some 40 languages and have sold more than 150 million copies. The LOTR trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion globally, and won 17 Oscars. The Hobbit series grossed close to $3 billion also, worldwide.