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WIRE Buzz: LOTR returning to New Zealand; Big Mouth spits out NSFW trailer; more

By Benjamin Bullard
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Amazon must think what we think about Peter Jackson’s choice of New Zealand’s verdant, exotic vistas as the perfect real-world place to put the Shire. The upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series from the streaming giant reportedly is headed back to the South Pacific paradise to do its on-location filming.

The Wrap reports that Amazon will base its production of the ambitious TV adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic work out of Auckland, with the studio revealing that pre-production is already underway, and that filming will begin in New Zealand “in the coming months.”

Much of the epic, otherworldly appeal of Jackson’s original LOTR film trilogy is owed to the panoramic, geologically unique landscape of the mountainous archipelago, and for many fans, the trilogy’s New Zealand backdrop feels almost like a distinct character. Via the report, Amazon explained that New Zealand’s combination of urban centers and wide-open, unspoiled landscapes offered the upcoming series a “majestic [setting], 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.”

Amazon only recently snagged Black Mirror’s Will Poulter as the second casting pickup for the series, alongside Markella Kavenagh, but hasn’t yet revealed a concrete timeline when the show — reportedly poised to become one of the costliest TV projects ever filmed — will debut.

Netflix is pulling no punches for the third season of Big Mouth, spicing up the animated series even more with an NSFW new trailer that introduces a recognizable guest ensemble — a crossover appearance from the Fab Five stars of Queer Eye

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, and Karamo Brown have their impeccable sights set on the low-maintenance Coach Steve, whose low-effort approach to self-care has the aghast guest stars saying the kind of stuff you still can’t get away with on network TV.  Check it out:

Other big names also show up in the Season 3 trailer, including Thandie Newton (Westworld) and Ali Wong (Ralph Breaks the Internet), who find new and hilarious ways to help the animated gang of 7th graders wrestle with familiar pubescent anxieties.   

Starring co-creator Nick Kroll alongside John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Jenny Slate, Season 3 of Big Mouth returns to Netflix on Oct. 4.

We already knew Nintendo wasn’t messing around with its hugely-anticipated current-gen remake of one of its biggest Game Boy-era classics — but the attention to detail and artistry on display in the pre-release trailer for the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening may come as a total eye-opener for anyone who’s been sleeping on the fully-realized HD remake. 

With only three days left before Link’s Awakening gives Switch owners their next big Zelda fix, check out the game’s short but high-impact story trailer, which Nintendo debuted this week:

What can we say? It’s an art style that appears to innovate yet again on the many iterations of our green-clad, Master Sword-wielding hero; the music already is giving us some seriously nostalgic feels; and, best of all, it’s almost here. Nintendo breathes new life into The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Sept. 20, when the remake hits the Switch