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Maxim Baldry cast in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series

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Maxim Baldry has joined the cast for Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.

Already greenlit for Season 2, the show’s cast was announced by Amazon at the start of the year. The ensemble includes Robert Aramayo, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh and Joseph Mawle, as well as Morfydd Clark. Confirmed to be joining them are Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. Now, Deadline reports that another “lead role” has been filled, with Baldry signing on for what is understood to be a key part in the series. Baldry was most recently seen in the current season of Doctor Who and festive romance Last Christmas – and, in 2019, he impressed in BBC One drama Years and Years as Viktor.

Amazon officially announces cast for Lord of the Rings series

15th January 2020

Amazon has officially announced the cast for its upcoming Lord of the Rings series.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.

The project has already been greenlit for a second season, with the series currently on hiatus to plan out its future. That, however, caused a scheduling conflict for its star Will Poulter, who had to drop out of the series, with Robert Aramayo said to be taking on the part of the hero, reportedly referred to as Beldor. Other previously rumoured members of the cast include Markella Kavenagh, Ema Horvath and Joseph Mawle, as well as Morfydd Clark as reportedly a young Galadriel.

Up until now, Amazon has not commented on any reports of the show’s production or casting, but finally, we have official confirmation of the first group of series regulars set to star in the new Amazon Original series. They include Robert Aramayo, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh and Joseph Mawle, as well as Morfydd Clark. Confirmed to be joining them are Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. As previously announced, the series is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay; they are joined by filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom), who is directing the first two episodes and serving as executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza; with executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Justin Doble (Stranger Things). McKay and Payne say: “After undertaking an extensive global search, we are delighted finally to reveal the first group of brilliant performers who will take part in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series. These exceptionally talented women and men are more than just our actors: they are the newest members of an ever-expanding creative family that is now working tirelessly to bring Middle-earth to life anew for fans and audiences worldwide.” Production will formally begin in February.

Robert Aramayo to replace Will Poulter in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings

8th January 2020

Game of Thrones star Robert Aramayo will take the lead in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings TV series, according to Deadline.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. These will be set a generation before the familiar events of Tolkien’s trilogy, in the Second Age of Middle-earth.

The project has already been greenlit for a second season, with the series currently on hiatus to plan out its future. That, however, has caused a scheduling conflict for its star Will Poulter, who has had to drop out of the series, which has so far filmed two episodes of Season 1.

Now, his replacement has been found, with Aramayo set to take on the part of the hero, reportedly referred to as Beldor.

The young Brit is no stranger to fantasy, having played Young Ned Stark in Seasons 6 and 7 of Game of Thrones. He can soon be seen in Netflix series Behind the Eyes. His feature credits include Nocturnal Animals, Antebellum, The Empty Man and The King’s Man.

He joins a cast that is thought to include Markella Kavenagh, Ema Horvath and Joseph Mawle, as well as Morfydd Clark as a young Galadriel.

Morfydd Clark joins Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings

14th December 2019

Morfydd Clark is headed from His Dark Materials to The Lord of the Rings, according to Deadline, which reports that she is set to play a key character in Amazon’s epic series.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. These will be set a generation before the familiar events of Tolkien’s trilogy, in the Second Age of Middle-earth.

The project has already been greenlit for a second season, with the series currently on hiatus to plan out its future. That, however, has caused a scheduling conflict for its star Will Poulter, who has had to drop out of the series, which has so far filmed two episodes of Season 1.

Nonetheless, the cast is still growing, with Morfydd Clark – fresh from playing Sister Clara in His Dark Materials and appearing in BBC One’s Dracula – reportedly set to play none other than a young Galadriel.

Other cast members reportedly attached include Markella Kavenagh, Ema Horvath and Joseph Mawle, although they have not yet been officially announced by Amazon.

Will Poulter exits Amazon’s Lord of the Rings 14th December 2019 Will Poulter has exited Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series due to scheduling conflicts. Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. These will be set a generation before the familiar events of Tolkien’s trilogy, in the Second Age of Middle-earth. The Black Mirror, Son of Rambow and Detroit star was the first cast member to join the fantasy epic, although his casting was never officially announced by Amazon. He was joined by Markella Kavenagh and Joseph Mawle, although they have also not yet been officially announced as starring in the show. What Amazon has announced officially is that the project is already renewed for a second season. Deadline has reported that the show will go on a four to five month hiatus having filmed the first two episodes of Season 1 to plan out Season 2. That change in production schedule, though, has reportedly made it difficult for Poulter to stay on, given his other commitments.
 The departure of Poulter will be a blow to the series, although the talent behind the camera are no strangers to the challenges of complex productions: showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4) leading a team that includes director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) and exec producers Belén Atienza, Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Sharon Tal Yguado, plus writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) writer/executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things), consulting producers 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.

Joseph Mawle joins Amazon’s Lord of the Rings

24th October 2019

If there were any doubt of Amazon’s ambitions for its new Lord of the Rings series, it’s made its intentions clear with the latest casting for its fantasy epic: Game of Thrones veteran Joseph Mawle.

Mawle, who also appeared in Ripper Street, played Benjen Stark on HBO’s series, which concluded its final season this summer. Now, Amazon is one of many looking to plug the gap and win over audiences hungry for the next genre hit, spending a whopping reported $250 million on the rights to JRR Tolkein’s books – before production costs even began to mount up.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. These will be set a generation before the familiar events of Tolkien’s trilogy, in the Second Age of Middle-earth.

Will Poulter has already been cast in the series alongside Markella Kavenagh. Now, they’ll be joined by Mawle, who will reportedly play a villain named Oren.

J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) will direct the first two episodes of the series and also serve as executive producer, alongside his partner, Belén Atienza. Executive Producers are Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Justin Doble (Stranger Things). Filming will take place in New Zealand at an unconfirmed future date.

Will Poulter joins Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings

4th September 2019

Will Poulter has joined the cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series.

The show, which was announced in 2017, is a huge undertaking for Amazon Studios, bringing a famous literary work to the screen and following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster trilogy adaptation, which earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines a generation before J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring in the Second Age of Middle-earth.

Now, the show has found its first male lead in the form of rising Brit star Will Poulter. Poulter, who impressed in Son of Rambow and Wild Bill, is no stranger to the streaming world, with a lead role in Netflix’s Black Mirror interactive special, Bandersnatch. That followed turned in The Revenant and Detroit and led to a role in Midsommar this year. Now, he’s bagged his first lead role in the untitled Lord of the Rings series.

Variety broke the news, noting that Poulter’s character is being kept tightly under wraps, but he is thought to be joining Australian star Markella Kavenagh, who was in talks earlier this year for a series role too.

What we do know is that the team behind the camera is certainly impressive, with showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4) leading a team that includes director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) and exec producers Belén Atienza, Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Sharon Tal Yguado, plus writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) writer/executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things), consulting producers 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.

Also on board are costume designer Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad), Academy Award-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Jason Smith (The Revenant), Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.

Amazon announces creative talent behind The Lord of the Rings series

31st July 2019

Amazon has announced the full line-up of creative talent behind its new The Lord of the Rings series.

The show, which was announced in 2017, is a huge undertaking for Amazon studios, bringing a famous literary work to the screen and following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster trilogy adaptation, which earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide.

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. To be precise, it will take place in the Second Age of Tolkein’s Middle-earth, a generation before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

Rising Australian star Markella Kavenagh has reportedly been cast in the show, but Amazon is lining up some big names behind the camera, with showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay already announced, along with the previously unveiled J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom) at helm for the first two episodes. Bayone will also serve as executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza.

They will be joined by an epic team of genre veterans, including executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Sharon Tal Yguado; writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad); writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) writer/executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things); consulting producers 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.

Also announced on the TCA press tour were costume designer Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad); Academy Award-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi); Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Jason Smith (The Revenant); Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey; and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.

Said McKay and Payne: “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.”

“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,” added Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “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.”

Markella Kavenagh cast in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings

24th July 2019

Rising Australian star Markella Kavenagh has reportedly been cast in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series.

Announced in 2017, the project is a hugely ambitious one for Amazon Studios, and not just because it costs a lot of money, although it does that too; the rights for J.R.R. Tolkein’s novels cost a reported $250 million, before production costs even began to mount up, with a commitment from Amazon to making multiple seasons.

Since then, Amazon has confirmed that the series will take place in the Second Age of Tolkein’s Middle-earth, a generation before the events of The Lord of the Rings. Amazon has also cemented its genre credentials by hiring Star Trek 4 writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay to pen the project.

They are joined by JA Bayona, who has repeatedly impressed with films such as The Orphanage and The Impossible and will direct the opening two episodes of Amazon’s epic – as well as serving as an executive producer, alongside Belén Atienza.

Now, the hunt is underway for talent in front of the camera. The first name to sneak out of the secretive production is Kavenagh. Deadline reports that she has signed on for a series regular role, although no details are known about her character. She is best known to date for her role in 2018‘s Romper Stomper, another TV series based on a movie, which aired on BBC Three in the UK.

J.A. Bayona to direct Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series

4th July 2019

Juan Antonio Bayona will direct the first two episodes of Amazon Studios’ upcoming series based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings.

The director, who has repeatedly impressed with films such as The Orphanage and The Impossible, has signed up to helm the opening two episodes of Amazon’s epic series. He will also serve as an executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza. “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,” says Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.” “The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén,” comments Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.” “We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” add writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay. “We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic, and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.” Bayona’s first feature film, the critically acclaimed thriller The Orphanage, executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, premiered to a ten-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and later won seven Goya Awards in Spain, including best new director. Bayona most recently directed the blockbuster feature Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but is no stranger to genre TV: he helmed multiple episodes of Showtime’s hit fantasy horror Penny Dreadful.

Game of Thrones’ Bryan Cogman joins Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series

23rd May 2019

How to follow the biggest fantasy TV series of all time? Hire one of the creators of the biggest fantasy TV series of all time. That’s the tactic being employed by Amazon Studios, which has recruited Game of Thrones producer Bryan Cogman for its new Lord of the Rings series.

Announced in 2017, the project is a hugely ambitious one for Amazon, and not just because it costs a lot of money, although it does that too; the rights for J.R.R. Tolkein’s novels cost a reported $250 million, before production costs even began to mount up, with a commitment from Amazon to making multiple seasons.

Since then, Amazon has confirmed that the series will take place in the Second Age of Tolkein’s Middle-earth, a generation before the events of The Lord of the Rings. Amazon has also cemented its geek credentials by hiring Star Trek 4 writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay to pen the project.

Now, it’s doubling down on talent with the addition of Cogman to the mix, reports Deadline. The co-executive producer of HBO’s epic wrote many of the key episodes – including A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms in Season 8 – and was the third brain behind the show, tasked with keeping things faithful to the book.

Cogman is no stranger to Amazon, having last year inked a multi-year overall deal that sees him working exclusively with the online giant’s studio to create original series.

Amazon hires Star Trek 4 writers to pen Lord of the Rings series

29th June 2018

Amazon has found its showrunners for its new Lord of the Rings TV show.

The ambitious project was first announced last year, after Amazon outbid rivals to nab the rights to JRR Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy. In a deal that was thought to be in the region of $250 million, Amazon Studios secured the chance to adapt the property into a TV series, but that sum didn’t include any of the production costs, and also came with a two-year time limit in which to behin production.

While industry pundits have already forecast that the programme will be the most expensive TV series in history, Amazon hasn’t stopped to consider the cost and is instead getting closer to putting the project together. The first major step since last year has now been taken, with JD Payne and Patrick McKay hired to write the series.

The duo are rising writers in Hollywood, having just worked on Star Trek 4 for JJ Abrams. Deadline reports that Abrams was one of several producers who recommended the pair for the gig. Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke announced the hiring at its TCA press tour panel this weekend, revealing that the epic fantasy drama will have a writers room behind it. Payne and McKay will head up that room, after being picked from a shortlist of possible scribes, mostly with a feature film background.

“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity,” Payne and McKay said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”

The series will explore new storylines set before The Fellowship of the Rings, with Salke previously hinting that familiar characters will make appearances, even though it will not be a remake of the material already covered in the movies. The writers room will now be assembled to develop the show’s story further.

“We are really excited to move right into the next phase of the development process, which is building the world,” Salke commented.

Deadline also reports that conversations continue with Peter Jackson, director of The Lords of the Rings movie trilogy, about either potential involvement or using his sets in New Zealand for filming the series.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings set to be most expensive TV series in history

6th April 2018

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is expected to be the most expensive TV show ever made, with five seasons reportedly ordered.

In November 2017, Amazon Studios announced that it had acquired the rights to JRR Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy. The deal, which saw Amazon outbid Netflix to sign on the dotted line, cost a whopping $250 million. That, however, was only for the rights to the property, with talent, production and some undoubtedly hefty post-production all still to be paid for. Such costs will not remain theoretical for long: the clock is already ticking on the deal, which requires Amazon to begin production within two years, and current estimates place the likely price of the whole series far north of $1 billion.

That figure would make small screen history, outstripping even the generous $100 million budget of Netflix’s The Crown, one of the most expensive TV shows to date.

What Amazon will get for its money is starting to become clearer, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, who this week spoke to Greenberg Glusker attorney Matt Galsor, who was the architect behind the deal.

“This is the most complicated deal I’ve ever seen,” Galsor explains, “but it was handled relatively quickly, in a way that brought the parties together in a close relationship. It was tough, but everybody liked each other and felt like a team more as the deal closed.”

The deal with not only the Tolkien estate, but also publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, reportedly covers a five-season commitment for the project. It includes the rights to the books, but also the Peter Jackson movies, with THR reporting that Amazon “may use material from the films” as the basis of whatever it ultimately chooses to create.

Amazon previously confirmed that the TV show will be a prequel, exploring new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring, with the deal also allowing for a potential additional spin-off series.

The films, of course, were a New Line production, and had their own fair share of legal tussles. Tolkien originally sold his rights to United Artists, before they went to MGM and Miramax, then New Line. With the trilogy taking in $5.85 billion worldwide in cinemas, Amazon was clearly prepared for any negotiations in order to secure a franchise that is deemed highly bankable and able to bring in new viewers.

“It’s very much a creature of the times,” comments Peter Jackson’s attorney, Peter Nelson. “We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios’ emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles.”

And what of Jackson? Nelson was not involved in last year’s talks, but has reportedly helped to start a dialogue with Amazon, with the decision up to the filmmaker whether he will be involved as an executive producer or in another capacity.

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