Tradition comes to an end with the announcement that Amazon Studios is moving shooting of their adaption of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ from New Zealand to the United Kingdom as the production of season two gets ready to kick off.
Director Peter Jackson famously shot both ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies in New Zealand for New Line Cinema.
While season one of Amazon’s take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth series was filmed in New Zealand, the production almost moved to Scotland following disputes with local officials, but those conflicts were resolved and filming began near Auckland.
Season two now seems to be moved to the United Kingdom with pre-production slated to begin in early 2022.
Amazon Studios said in a statement, “Amazon Studios announced (Aug. 12th) that its untitled The Lord of the Rings original series will film Season Two in the United Kingdom (U.K.). The shift from New Zealand to the U.K. aligns with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the U.K., with many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films already calling the U.K. home.”
“The highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings series recently wrapped principal photography on Season One in New Zealand and is scheduled to premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries around the world on Friday, September 2, 2022,” they continued.
Amazon Studios exec Vernon Sanders said, “We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing The Lord of the Rings series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey.” He added, “We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One.”
COO & Co-Head of TV for Amazon Studios Albert Cheng explained, “As we look to relocate the production to the U.K., we do not intend to actively pursue the Season One MoU five percent financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement, however, we respectfully defer to our partners and will remain in close consultation with them around next steps.”
‘The Lord of the Rings’ series will serve as a “prequel” to the events of ‘The Hobbit,’ taking place in the second age and is rumored to tell the story of the rise of Sauron and the formation of the One Ring.
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