After hiring Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman in May, Amazon’s The Lord of the RingsTV series has made another big addition behind the scenes, with Deadline reporting that the streaming service has enlisted director J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) to helm the first two episodes of the fantasy epic.
“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,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.” As well as directing the opening episodes, Bayona will executive produce the series with his producing partner Belén Atienza.
Amazon Studios has been working away on its Lord of the Rings for a couple of years now, with screenwriters JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond) signing on to help develop the project last summer.
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said Payne and 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.”
“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,” said 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.”
The series is based on the Middle-earth works of J.R.R. Tolkien and serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, with a recent teaser suggesting it will take place during the Second Age. It’s also reportedly going to become the most expensive TV show in history with a budget of around $1 billion across five seasons.