Amazon won't be the only major studio returning to Middle-earth in the near future. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have once again joined forces for a brand-new Lord of the Rings film project, the two companies announced Thursday afternoon. Titled The War of the Rohirrim, the fast-tracked feature will be animated and serve as a companion piece to Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning trilogy based on the epic fantasy universe created by J.R.R. Tolkien.
"All of us at New Line feel a deep affinity for the extraordinary world J.R.R. Tolkien created, so the opportunity to dive back into Middle-earth with the team at Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true," Carolyn Blackwood (Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group) and Richard Brener (President and Chief Creative Officer, New Line Cinema) said in a joint statement.
According to the synopsis, the movie's plot "explores and expands the untold story behind the fortress of Helm’s Deep, delving into the life and blood-soaked times of one of Middle-earth’s most legendary figures; the mighty King of Rohan — Helm Hammerhand."
Here's the official key art:
While Jackson isn't directly involved with this effort, The Hollywood Reporter writes that the director has given it his sacred blessing. Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus) is attached as director and Philippa Boyens — who co-wrote the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies with Jackson and Fran Walsh — is on board as a consultant. The team of Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) have been tapped to write the screenplay, with Joseph Chou (Blade Runner: Black Lotus) producing. Sola Entertainment (Rick and Morty vs. Genocider) is handling the animation and a voice cast is expected to be locked in shortly.
"Fans know Helm’s Deep as the stage for one of the greatest battles ever put to film and, with many of the same creative visionaries involved and the brilliant Kenji Kamiyama at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to deliver a fresh vision of its history that will invite global audiences to experience the rich, complex saga of Middle-earth in a thrilling new way," continued Blackwood and Brener.
“This will be yet another epic portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world that has never been told before. We’re honored to partner with much of the incredible talent behind both film trilogies, along with new creative luminaries to tell this story,” added Sam Register, President of Warner Bros. Animation. “And so it begins.”