Some members of the family of author J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of “The Lord of the Rings,” have at times remarked that the collection of books detailing the quest of a Hobbit and his companions across Middle-Earth can never be adequately translated into a visual medium. Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the books into a blockbuster trilogy for New Line Cinema in the 2000s might beg to differ. Still, with Amazon and its in-development plans for a “Lord of the Rings” series on Prime Video, that statement might have hung over the project following a recent character recasting. But the announcement of a new episode director might just get prep-work going again.
According to Collider, Amazon Studios’ “Lord of the Rings” series just tapped Chinese-British director Wayne Che Yip to sit at the helm of four episodes for the show. Yip’s previous notable works include two episodes of “Doctor Who” season 10 as well as its Christmas Special. On the American side of the Atlantic he was episode director for DC Universe’s (now HBO Max’s) “Doom Patrol.” He joins J.A. Bayona (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) as directors for the show, which is shooting in New Zealand where the film trilogy was made.
J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are executive producers and show-runners for the Amazon “Rings” series, which is being built up as a prequel to the events of the movies and their original books. This will likely take material from Tolkien’s “Silmarillion” which relates the origin of the Middle-Earth world and its backstory. Initial story blurbs for the Amazon show tells of the return of Evil after years of peace, which could mean any period in Middle-Earth’s past where the Dark Lord Sauron rises following the fall of his predecessor Morgoth.
So far the cast consists of Robert Aramayo, Morfydd Clark, Nazanin Boniadi and Ismael Cruz Cordova. Australian actor Tom Budge was also part of the cast, but departed after shooting a few episodes when the creative team decided to take his unspecified character in a different direction for his liking. Amazon has yet to put a date on when their “Lord of the Rings” prequel series will hit Prime Video.
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