Amazon has has hired Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona to helm the first two episodes of their mammoth, multi-season Lord Of The Rings/Middle Earth series currently gearing up for production.
Set in the rich fantasy world developed by author J. R. R. Tolkien for his books The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, this new, still untitled series will not be an adaptation of those works. Instead, where those stories took place in Middle Earth’s Third Age, the new series will be telling its stories set in Middle Earth’s Second Age. Tolkien sketched out the era’s 3400 year history as many of events such as the forging of the great One Ring, the Fall of Númenor and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and their war against Sauron.
In a statement to Deadline Bayona said –
J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.
The writing of the series is being overseen by JD Payne and Patrick McKay with Breaking Bad veteran Gennifer Hutchison and Game Of Thrones scribe Bryan Cogman reportedly in the writers room as well.
Amazon is investing big with their multi-year commitment to the show. They reportedly paid the Tolkien estate somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million for the rights. The Hollywood Reporter has estimated that Amazon could be spending over $1 billion on the series.
This is not the first TV work for Bayona. He also oversaw the first two episodes of Showtime’s hit Penny Dreadful.