The Lord of the Rings series on Amazon Prime: release, cast, story, budget… everything we know

Amazon announced in 2017 that it had secured the rights to create a Lord of the Rings series for its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is expected for the start of the 2022 school year.

Lord of the Rings Synopsis

Unlike Peter Jackson who chose to adapt JRR Tolkien’s novels, namely The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Amazon Studios wants to start on a new plot. The television series will therefore take place in another era, called the Second Age, which takes place long before the events described in the two literary masterpieces of the British writer.

We know for the moment that few details about the plot, which will begin in time of peace – before a threat emerges. On the other hand, we know that the Second Age ends with the defeat of Sauron. This sequence appears in particular in the preamble to the film adaptation of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. A final alliance between Men and Elves is formed to finish off the servant of Morgoth.

It was at the end of this great war that the One Ring was lost. For a time.

Middle earth. // Source: MGM-New Line Cinema

Filming of Lord of the Rings

The news was confirmed on September 18, 2019: New Zealand has been chosen for the filming of the Amazon Studios television series. We knew, however, since the end of 2018 that discussions were being conducted between Wellington and the production to find an agreement. It was already in New Zealand that the filming of the two Peter Jackson trilogies had taken place.
New Zealand, where Middle-earth is nestled in real life! // Source: Max

Wellington’s involvement is largely understandable: the economic stakes are high for New Zealand. According to the official New Zealand tourism website, quoted by Le Point, one in five tourists still cites the LotR as a reason to visit the country. And one out of three tourists declares having been in contact with this universe in one way or another during their stay. This, even fifteen years after the films.

Filming is now complete, which does not mean that development is. There is still a lot of post-production work to do.

Lord of the Rings Cast

For the huge cast, the producers trust actors not necessarily known to the general public: 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 or even Sara Zwangobani.

What will the name of Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings series be?

The title of the series was announced on January 19, 2022, just a few months before the release date set for September 2. In English, the series will be called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power which should logically give The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power in VF.

Jeff Bezos himself shared the news on his Twitter account, posing with a huge sign featuring the name and logo of the upcoming Prime series.

Which screenwriter is in charge?

In writing, Amazon Studios called on two screenwriters who have known each other since high school: JD Payne and Patrick McKay. If these names mean nothing to you for now, you should soon see their work in cinemas. They participated in the writing of Jungle Cruise, a film commissioned by Disney which adapts one of the attractions of its theme parks, and star trek 4, next film of the reboot started in 2009.

Both men are used to working on large-scale projects. Moreover, they do not start from scratch: JRR Tolkien has left enough material throughout his works to give the two screenwriters a detailed skeleton of what happens during this Second Age (foundation of the Gray Havens, return of Sauron, return of the Númenóreans, forging of the Three Rings…).

Who will be directing?

Several filmmakers will follow one another to direct the episodes of the series. In July 2019, it was revealed that Spanish director and screenwriter Juan Antonio Bayona will be in charge of the first two episodes. Juan Antonio Bayona is best known for directing Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom.

For the sequel, there will be Wayne Che Yip, for four episodes. He worked on Doctor Who, but also The Wheel of Time, a series that airs exclusively on Amazon Prime. The remaining two episodes were entrusted to Charlotte Brändström who worked on various TV series, such as The Witcher, Jupiter’s Legacy, Grey’s Anatomy and even… Julie Lescaut. Oh yes.

Juan Antonio Bayona
Juan Antonio Bayona directs two episodes. // Source: Moritz Barcelona

The executive production brings together JD Payne, Patrick McKay and Juan Antonio Bayona, and personalities who have worked on significant series or films: Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game Of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) and Justin Doble (Stranger Things).

What is the budget for the series?

Amazon Studios has put the means to take control of the rights to adapt the story of Middle-earth in a television series: 250 million dollars, styling the post Netflix, which was also in the race. Regarding the budget devoted to the series itself, there is talk of an investment of up to one billion dollars. A record for TV (but can we talk about TV?), but which also includes the four future seasons.

According to information from The Hollywood Reporter shared on April 16, 2021, the first season would have cost 465 million dollars, or just under 400 million euros, on its own.

How many seasons for The Lord of the Rings series are planned?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the agreement between Amazon Studios, the “Tolkien Estate”, publisher HarperCollins and studio New Line Cinema provides for five seasons (which would make around $200 million per season). There is also talk of a derivative series, optional.

The number of episodes for season one is eight, which is about the norm for this type of project (about ten). The length of each episode is also not given, but it is expected to be around an hour.

Trailers & posters shared by Amazon Prime

Amazon Studios has not started any promotional campaign, except the sharing of a single visual, on August 2, 2021. But it hides one, or rather, two clues in the background.

A short trailer was also released on January 19, something to inspire the curious and make fans of JRR Tolkien’s saga impatient. The trailer does not show much, but nevertheless leaves us a clue that could be important for the storyline of the series.

We hear a woman explaining the different forged rings. ” Three rings for the elven kings under heaven, seven for the dwarven lords in their stony mansions, nine for men, doomed mortals, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where lie the shadows “. A sentence that has remained famous, because it is one of the very first that we can hear in Peter Jackson’s film, The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s spoken by Galadriel in the movie — and the female voice we hear in this trailer could well be that of a younger Galadriel.

What is the release date of the series The Lord of the Rings on Amazon Prime?

Insofar as Amazon indicated, in mid-September 2019, that filming will begin ” in the coming months », it was illusory to hope for rapid distribution. First, because Amazon is inevitably expected at the turn and it is better to take your time and take care of the project to avoid any industrial accident. Then, because there has been a global pandemic since 2020.

But in a tweet published on August 2, 2021, the good news has fallen: the appointment is made for September 2, 2022. Amazon simply specified: “ A new adventure begins “.

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