lord of the rings tv series map

Last summer, Amazon was able to announce the showrunners for their The Lord of the Rings series, Patrick McKay and JD Payne. But since then, news on Lord of the Rings has been largely kept in shadow, with a few images of maps and the announcement of one potential cast member in Markella Kavenagh.

Today’s Amazon executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour was another opportunity for a few more incremental updates. Find out more about their planned location, scripting, and casting below, and learn what Amazon executives said about another season of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens

lord of the rings series setting

Amazon Knows Where Lord of the Rings Is Filming

The Lord of the Rings is going to be a massive production, and likely a boon to the economy of wherever it films, and Amazon has settled on a location. They’re just not saying yet.

“We won’t confirm where it’s going to shoot but we’re in preparations,” said Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of TV for Amazon. “We will announce our location soon, but not yet.”

Of course, the question on everyone’s minds is: will they film in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson filmed his movie trilogies? That would certainly give the show a feeling of continuity with the cinematic world of Middle-earth.

“We have some reasons that we’re not announcing that yet but we will,” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said.

We understand why Amazon needs to remain tight-lipped about their filming location. They wouldn’t want to jeopardize the production, and as soon as fans find out, they’re going to flock to the set. Once all the deals are signed, there’ll be no keeping it secret.

They Won’t Narrow Down The Second Age

Amazon had announced its Lord of the Rings series would be set during The Second Age, before the time of either the LOTR or Hobbit films. But beyond that, they haven’t specified a time frame – and they continued to remain cagey about that today. 

“That’s a tiny expanse of time in the Lord of the Rings saga,” Salke joked of the millennia encapsulated in The Second Age. “Makes for a long running series,” Cheng added.

Casting and Production

Salke said Payne and McKay have put together their behind the scenes crew. A press release listed them:

The team announced today includes: executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Sharon Tal Yguado; writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad); writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) writer/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/co-producer Helen Shang (Hannibal), and writing consultant Glenise Mullins.

Also announced today are costume designer Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad); Academy Award-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi); Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Jason Smith (The Revenant); Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey; and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.

There’s a lot of Game of Thrones talent there, and a lot of big fantasy movie experience.

“JD Payne and Patrick McKay have assembled a best in class team,” Salke said during her announcements. “The scripts are outstanding and the global casting search is underway. We go into production next year.”

good omens review

There Might Be More Good Omens

Earlier this year, Amazon debuted Neil Gaiman’s TV adaptation of his and Terry Pratchett’s book, Good Omens. Gaiman always said there would only be one season to tell the book’s story, but now it seems he might have more ideas.

“We’re lucky to have an ongoing relationship with Neil and we’re so excited about how season 1 has done for us,” said Vernon Sanders, co-head of TV. “The notion has come up about whether we can revisit that world. It’s in Neil’s hands now, but we would love to do it. We’re finding it just takes a little time, but whatever he wants to do, we’re interested.”

There’s something about completing a story that seems to free up creators to think of new stories. (The Handmaid’s Tale is another example of this.) Gaiman had an idea for a sequel before Pratchett died. Maybe season two could be that, or something entirely new.

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