The Lord of the Rings TV series in the works at Amazon Studios continues to flesh out its cast, as the project has cast Game of Thrones actor Joseph Mawle as its primary villain. Joining Will Poulter and Markella Kavenagh, Mawle will reportedly play the lead villain Oren, starring opposite Poulter's Beldor and Kavenagh's Tyra. At this time, no other details have been released about the characters, but given the abilities of the talent involved, we can expect the roles to be portrayed well. Directed by J. A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), the project is written by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay with production set to begin in 2020.
Utilizing a tremendous budget to keep the series on par with the franchise, the Lord of the Rings series is seeking out some of the most talented actors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia for the best possible casting. Pre-production has begun and as the cast continues to fill out, more official announcements are likely to be on the way as we head into 2020. The series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Of course, New Line Cinema was also behind the big screen trilogy from director Peter Jackson. Production will begin in Auckland, New Zealand early next year.
Game of Thrones fans will recognize Mawle as a member of House Stark. On the show, Mawle played Benjen Stark, a First Ranger of the Night's Watch. He was the younger brother of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) and the uncle of Robb (Richard Madden), Rickon (Art Parkinson), Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), and Jon Snow (Kit Harington). The heroic character dies in Season 7 by sacrificing himself to the army of the dead to help save Jon Snow. It's also worth noting Mawle isn't the only talent involved with Game of Thrones to make the leap to Lord of the Rings, as the new show's consulting producer Bryan Cogman and executive producer Bruce Richmond had both worked behind the scenes on the hit HBO program as well.
Lord of the Rings originally began as a sequel story to J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit. Ultimately, the book would become one of the best-selling titles of all time, with over 150 million copies sold worldwide. The story was famously adapted as a trilogy of movies by director Peter Jackson, with each of the three installments releasing annually in 2001, 2002, and 2003. By generating nearly $3 billion in worldwide ticket sales, the series is one of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time, and its critical reception was just as kind for each of the three installments as well.
Production on the Lord of the Rings TV series will reportedly begin next year, but Amazon has not yet set an official premiere date for the show. Time will tell if the series manages to reach the same heights as Mawle's other popular series Game of Thrones, but that is clearly Amazon's goal. In any case, it will definitely be a series worth checking out when it finally arrives. News of Mawle's casting comes to us from Deadline.