Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will officially film in New Zealand

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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At this point in time, the first thing you may think of when someone brings up New Zealand is Taika Waititi in a sort of straw hat and wearing a shirt with tomatoes on it, but you would very soon after likely think of the LORD OF THE RINGS films. The country became synonymous with Middle-earth after director Peter Jackson shot all the movies there – including THE HOBBIT trilogy – with its rolling green hills, scenic mountains and clear lakes making it the perfect setting for the fantasy world. While Amazon has been trying very hard to distance its upcoming, absurdly pricey LOTR series from Jackson’s films, even they cannot deny the perfection of New Zealand and have decided to bring the production of their series home to Middle-earth on Earth.


The news comes from an Amazon press release, which confirmed that pre-production has begun, and in a few months, shooting will begin in Auckland. It was also noted that other locations outside of New Zealand were scouted, and per The Guardian, one of the other places close to being chosen was Scotland, but Amazon was reportedly spooked considering uncertainty with the U.K.’s Brexit issues (yay politics!). The show will also shoot away from Wellington, the home of Jackson’s WETA Digital, which The Guardian also reports is due to James Cameron taking up a lot of space for his AVATAR films.

Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay issued a statement in the press release expressing their excitement to begin filming in the true home of LOTR, and the series’ social media account also confirmed the decision:

“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. And 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. 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.”


We are going on an adventure! ???????? #LOTRonPrime

A post shared by The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@lotronprime) on Sep 17, 2019 at 2:46pm PDT


As for everything else about the show, all we know is that the series will take place several thousand years before the events of THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING during the Second Age, which sort of puts to bed any speculation that the show will focus on a young Aragorn (played in the movies by Viggo Mortensen). The series is also believed to have 20 episodes, with director J.A. Bayona (JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM) set to helm a few of them. It was also confirmed Will Poulter (MIDSOMMAR) will have a starring role in the series, joined by actress Markella Kavenagh playing a character named Tyra.

Amazon's LORD OF THE RINGS series — with the proper New Zealand backdrop — is expected to arrive in 2021.

Source: Amazon, The Guardian

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