Tolkien fans can prepare themselves for another trip into Middle-earth history as Deadline reports New Line Cinema and Warner Animation is developing an anime feature film titled The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. The film will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) with Sola Entertainment providing the animation.
The War of the Rohirrim will follow “the mighty King of Rohan, Helm Hammerhand, and a legendary battle which helped shaped Middle-earth heading into LOTR” and “expand the untold story behind the fortress of Helm’s Deep, delving into the life and bloodsoaked times of Hammerhand.”
J.R.R. Tolkien explored a bit of Helm Hammerhand’s life in the appendix for Lord of the Rings and the film will be set approximately 250 years prior to the events of Tolkien’s trilogy. Though Hammerhand was mentioned once in passing in The Two Towers film, the climactic battle of Peter Jackson’s sequel took place at Helm’s Deep where Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the forces of Rohan had to hold out against Saruman’s horde of Uruk-Hai. The battle has been cited by many as one of the greatest filmed battle sequences of all time.
As of now, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh are not involved in the film’s development, though Lord of the Rings co-writer Philippa Boyens, who earned an Oscar for Return of the King‘s script, will consult on the film while the script will be written by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance). Producing will be Joseph Chou (Blade Runner: Black Lotus).
“All of us at New Line feel a deep affinity for the extraordinary world J.R.R. Tolkien created, so the opportunity to dive back into Middle-earth with the team at Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true,” said Carolyn Blackwood, Warner Bros. Pictures’ COO, and Richard Brener, New Line’s President and COO New Line Cinema. “Fans know Helm’s Deep as the stage for one of the greatest battles ever put to film and, with many of the same creative visionaries involved and the brilliant Kenji Kamiyama at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to deliver a fresh vision of its history that will invite global audiences to experience the rich, complex saga of Middle-earth in a thrilling new way.”
“This will be yet another epic portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world that has never been told before,” said Sam Register, President of Warner Bros. Animation. “We’re honored to partner with much of the incredible talent behind both film trilogies, along with new creative luminaries to tell this story. And so it begins.”
This is the second Tolkien property currently in development as Amazon is developing a Lord of the Rings series, which has already working on its second season and has a budget of $465 million for the first season alone, that will take place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, over 3000 years before the events of both War of the Rohirrim and Lord of the Rings.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.