Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series has finally assembled the fellowship behind the camera. Earlier this month, we reported that J.A Bayona (Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) would direct the first two episodes. Deadline has now confirmed that Bayona will also serve as executive producer along with his partner Belén Atienza, Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Lindsey Weber (Cloverfield Lane), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Tal Yguado.
JD Payne and Patrick McKay will helm the team of creators as head feature writers for the new fantasy series. Also attached as executive producers/writers are Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) and Justin Doble (Stranger Things). McKay and Payne had this to say.
"This team is our Fellowship - assembled from around the world, all walking the road together to try and accomplish something far greater than any of us could on our own. We feel humbled and extremely lucky to be surrounded by such inspiring and talented women and men."
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy sparked a fantasy revolution that transcended the films. The third installment, The Return of the King received 11 Academy Award nominations and went home with the Best Picture award. The practical effects, hand-made armor, forged weapons, and full-scale sets with identical miniatures helped to make the original trilogy an epic experience. This magic, however, wore off for Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. So, Tolkein's legendary words alone may not be enough to carry the series to success.
Here to help are the designers in charge. The series has added Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe to create Middle-Earth for the small screen. Academy Award-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Jason Smith (The Revenant) will bring it to life. Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad) will design the costumes for the characters that live in it. Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios has confidence in the new team, saying:
"As our journey into Middle-earth begins, we are in excellent hands with J.D. and Patrick at the helm, with this incredible team of talent that they've assembled. The depth and breadth of the experience of this writing and production team is truly awesome, with a real respect for and knowledge of Tolkien lore. We're so happy to have them on board and to see this exciting series start to come to life."
The high profile project will pull from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic writings. The story will take place during the mythology's Second Age, a time that spans thousands of years leading up to the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The series already has a multi-season commitment through a rights deal with the Tolkien estate estimated to be around $250 million dollars.
Consulting producers include Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) and Stephany Folsom (Toy Story 4), producer Ron Ames (The Aviator), writer/co-producer Helen Shang (Hannibal), and writing consultant Glenise Mullins. It will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. No word yet on when to expect the series to air, but keep checking back with us for all your TV coverage. This news comes to us from Deadline.