Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series release date revealed

Five seasons of JRR Tolkien-based series may cost streaming service up to $1bn to produce

The first teaser still of the new series to be shown to the public. Photograph: Amazon

The first teaser still of the new series to be shown to the public. Photograph: Amazon

 

Amazon Prime Video has announced a release date for its Lord of the Rings series based on the works of JRR Tolkien.

The fantasy series is scheduled to premiere on the streaming service on September 2nd, 2022, with new episodes releasing weekly after that. The premiere coincides with the 49th anniversary of Tolkien’s death, in 1973.

The series, which does not have a proper title yet, will be set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and the original Lord of the Rings stories, the movie adaptations of which were directed by Peter Jackson.

The new series is effectively a prequel to the wider story of the Tolkien universe, with its events mostly set to take place in Middle-Earth’s Second Age. (The existing stories take place in the Third Age).

Director Charlotte Brändström on location in New Zealand. Photograph: Ben Rothstein/Amazon
Director Charlotte Brändström on location in New Zealand. Photograph: Ben Rothstein/Amazon

Amazon Studios calls the setting “an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness”.

Amazon paid about $250 million in 2017 to secure the television rights to the series, five of which are planned, with the cost reportedly close to $1 billion. Filming is under way in New Zealand. The cast includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Sara Zwangobani and Charles Edwards. The directors are Charlotte Brändström and Wayne Che Yip, who are working with the showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne.

Separately, a new video game focusing on the travels of the ring-obsessed creature Gollum is being developed by Daedalic Entertainment. Set for release in 2022 on all most consoles and PC, the game will focus on the life of Gollum before the events of the books and films.

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