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Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Confirms New Zealand Is Still Middle-earth

Lord of the Rings MMO Amazon Game Studios

Amazon Studios' The Lord of the Rings series is officially set to film in New Zealand, confirming that it'll once again become Middle-earth. In the continued pursuit of finding the next Game of Thrones, Amazon will pay a hefty sum to try and make a Lord of the Rings series that show. With a large, passionate fanbase behind the books and the original Peter Jackson trilogy of films, Amazon's show will attempt to build on this by going back into the history of Middle-earth.

Set in the Second Age, The Lord of the Rings is set to tell an all-new adventure in the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. It'll hail from showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and has been making some big announcements lately. The series cast Markelle Kavenagh as a character named Tyra, and recently tapped Will Poulter to take on an undisclosed lead role. They are the only two cast members for the series at this point, but it was also reported who'll first direct them. J.A. Bayona has been announced as the director of the first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings, and at that time it was reported that production could take place in New Zealand.

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Related: Lord of the Rings: Sauron's Rise (& Defeat) In The Second Age Explained

The New Zealand production for Amazon's The Lord of the Rings has now been confirmed, marking a return for the property, as this is where Peter Jackson's trilogy was shot. Payne and McKay mentioned in the press release that they were looking for "somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff." They're thrilled to continue working in New Zealand for years to come, as they've already started pre-production. Filming is expected to begin in Aukland in the coming month. The show's official Twitter account simply shared the New Zealand flag emoji to celebrate the news.

For all the reasons that Payne and McKay mentioned, New Zealand is the logical location for The Lord of the Rings' production to take place. As it was previously rumored, the confirmation of this is not unexpected, but instead a pleasant piece of news. And since the series was going to be compared to the movies regardless, they might as well film in the same locations. This could even allow them to revisit the same locations while filming, if the series features any familiar areas from the movies.

This will likely not be just a one-season commitment to filming in New Zealand either for the series. Amazon has big plans for The Lord of the Rings, and has a 20-episode first season ordered to kick off what's expected to be a multi-season run. The statement from the showrunners teased that they're looking forward to deepening their partnership with the country in years to come, so additional seasons of the series will also likely be shot in New Zealand. With production beginning either late this year or in early 2020, it shouldn't be long before the entire cast and crew are in Aukland to begin work on The Lord of the Rings.

MORE: Everything We Know (So Far) About Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series

Source: Amazon Studios

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