Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings Series Swaps New Zealand For Maidenhead As Production Locations Set
Filming for the second season of the Lord Of The Rings prequel TV series will begin next spring in Maidenhead – after moving locations out of New Zealand.
The Amazon Prime blockbuster – whose first season will premiere in September 2022 – will be shot in the market town of Berkshire, switching from New Zealand where the movie trilogy, The Hobbit and the first season of the TV series were filmed.
It is considered a major shock to the film industry in the country, but it marks the first time a live-action project in the franchise has been produced outside of New Zealand.
Exciting: Shooting for the upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel TV series begins next spring in Maidenhead (above a still from the series)
Sources told Variety that Bray Film Studio will initially be the new home for the upcoming mega-hit, with the former occupying nearly 54,000 square feet and a 183,000 square foot backlot.
Especially in good company, Mamma Mia, Rocketman, Bodyguard and Dracula, among others, have used the studio.
Production will also reportedly take place at Bovingdon Airfield in Hertforshire, which has 60 acres of open land and has powered Justice League, Fast And The Furious 6 and Dancing On Ice.
Dan Grabiner, head of originals at Amazon Studios UK, told the publication: ‘I think’ [the move to the UK] speaks to the depth of talent here, the reputation, the skills, the infrastructure.
Masterpiece: Season 2 of the Amazon Prime blockbuster is filmed in the city west of London after moving from New Zealand where the movie trilogy and The Hobbit were filmed (Still from The Fellowship Of The Ring in 2001)
‘It’s a big production. To make an operation like that work, you need world-class people and world-class talents working on it.”
Amazon Studios announced in August that ‘A New Journey Begins’ with a premiere on September 2, 2022.
The streaming giant also revealed the show’s first image set in Middle-earth’s Second Age of a mysterious character wearing a cape gazing at a castle.
Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay reportedly completed the eight-episode first season in New Zealand in April on a budget of $465, and there are plans for four additional seasons.
Impressive: It has been reported that Bray Film Studio will initially be the new home for the upcoming mega-hit, with the former set to have nearly 54,000 square feet and a 183,000 square foot backlot
Coming soon: Production will also reportedly take place at Bovingdon Airfield in Hertforshire, which has 60 acres of open land and has facilitated Justice League, Fast And The Furious 6 and Dancing On Ice (pictured in 2018)
Overall, the five-season production deal cost Amazon an eye-watering $1 billion, making history as the most expensive TV series ever made — according to THR.
In contrast, HBO usually paid $100 million per season of its hit show Game of Thrones.
The cast of the ensemble is largely unknown, with Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials) replacing two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the royal immortal Elf, Galadriel.
“I cannot express enough how excited we are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth!” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement.
Teaser: It’s the first time a live-action project in the franchise has been produced outside of New Zealand
“Our talented producers, cast, creative and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this unprecedented and awe-inspiring vision to life.”
The epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of the films The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Peter Jackson’s beloved original trilogy garnered 17 Oscars and $2.991 billion at the worldwide box office, while the Hobbit trilogy made $2.931 billion at the box office with far less critical acclaim.
It grew out of the classic fantasy novels The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), and The Return of the King (1955), written by JRR Tolkien.
Newcomers: The cast of the ensemble is largely unknown, with Morfydd Clark (L) replacing two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (R) as the royal immortal Elf, Galadriel