Amazon's Lord of the Rings series has wrapped up filming and finally has a release date. The original story, set during the Second Age of J. R. R. Tolkien's seminal high fantasy, will be the most expensive show ever produced when it airs, but with all the post-production needed to bring the magical world to life, we've got to wait quite a bit before that happens.
The Lord of the Rings series will premier on Friday, September 2, 2022, streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video with a release schedule of one episode per week.
Produced on a budget of $465 million on top of the $250 million paid for the rights, the show will be the most expensive series ever produced by a colossal margin, vastly outpacing recent major productions like Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian.
The series remains untitled and details are scarce - all we know is that the story is not a direct adaptation of any existing media set in Tolkien's world, but will depict a mostly original tale set during the Second Age. Some characters - owing to the long lives of some species in this universe - will be making a return from Peter Jackson's film trilogy, albeit with new actors.
Amazon Studios did reveal the first ever official image from the series - curiously depicting something that could not possibly take place in the second age, as fans have deduced - a sweeping landscape with a distinctly elven city in the background and a pair of trees in the distance. T
hese are Telperion and Laurelin which brought light to Valinor and the Undying Lands. Fans suspect the location is city of Tirion and the pass of Calacirya, possibly making this a flashback as opposed to a scene from the on-going plot.
The series has been produced with a massive cast, including actors such as Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi and many more in unknown roles. Charlotte Brändström, with experience from The Witcher and Outlander is directing, alongside Patrick McKay as executive producer and J.D. Payne as showrunner.
Amazon Studios went to famously extensive lengths to prevent any leaks about the show, like setting up a soundproofed and windowless writer's room. The untitled series was shot mostly on-location in New Zealand to maintain visual continuity with the film trilogy, although canonical links between the two are not clear.
Fans will have to wait for over a year before finally getting answers to the numerous questions swirling around this Lord of the Rings show, but we're all hoping it turns out well.