Amazon's insanely ambitious (not to mention insanely expensive) series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings saga will officially hit Prime Video on Sep. 2, 2022. The company celebrated the end of filming in New Zealand today with a first look image of a cloaked/caped figure approaching a shining kingdom. They kind of look like Ben Mendelsohn's Director Krennic from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, don't you think?
"I can’t express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth!" Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. "Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life."
Check out the first still below:
Currently untitled, the show takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, an era of relative peace thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring (i.e. the novels used for the Peter Jackson movies). The official synopsis teases "an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth."
The cast features 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.
“As Bilbo says, ‘Now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey.’ Living and breathing Middle-earth these many months has been the adventure of a lifetime. We cannot wait for fans to have the chance to do so as well,” added showrunners/executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
Payne and McKay are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado — as well as co-executive producer Wayne Che Yip, director Charlotte Brändström, and producer Christopher Newman.
Production kicked off last year before all live-action shoots were halted over COVID-19 concerns. Crew members began returning to New Zealand in Summer of 2020 and the cameras were up and rolling again by late September. While fans will still have to wait a little over a year to feast their eyes on Amazon's version of Middle-earth, they can take solace in the fact that another one of the studio's epic fantasy adaptations — The Wheel of Time — is debuting this November.
In addition to the upcoming series, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema are currently working on an animated companion to Peter Jackson's orginal trilogy of LoTR movies entitled The War of the Rohirrim. The project doesn't have a release date, but is being fast-tracked under the direction of Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus).