(Deadline) Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, The Lord of the Rings series is described as an “epic drama” set in the Second Age of Middle-earth — thousands of years before the events of the Lord of the Rings films and the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien on which they were based. The series brings to screens for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Headlining the ensemble cast are Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
The first teaser for this $1 Billion+ Amazon series was a huge letdown. The one thing that most LOTR fans didn't like about the Hobbit Trilogy, the insane over-use of CGI, was on full display which was a huge bummer. In fact, I don't think I could point out a single on location shot in that one. Again, keep in mind that the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy cost $281 million to make, which is almost what Amazon spent on the the TV rights alone. So you would think they could spare the cash for practical effects. However, there was a quick glimmer of hope...
The CGI Orcs from the Hobbit fucking sucked. But these guys look mostly practical and scary as hell. Love that. This teaser also did a lot to get the hype level out of the dumpster for me. We got more practical stuff, some other cool shots, a look at some new races that exist in the lore of LOTR and more. I'm still not sold on this series, especially after how Prime recently butchered a similar property in Wheel of Time, but I can't deny that I am getting more excited.
Something cool we got to see in this is some shots in Valinor. Here is a map of middle earth with Valinor highlighted by the red circle along with the 2 trees, Laurelin and Telperion, up on the right. I put a yellow circle around what was basically the entire scope of both trilogies.
I love getting to see a new frontier, especially in a world as dense and rich as this one.