Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film adaptation are adored by both movie buffs and Tolkien fans alike for their respect for the source material, excellent cast of actors, and jaw-dropping visuals. A large part of what helped the films appear so spectacular was Jackson’s choice of shooting in New Zealand, a country known for its incredible wilderness. Fans of the films will be pleased to learn that Amazon has confirmed that it’s upcoming TV show based on Tolkien’s world will also be shot in New Zealand.
New Zealand has become synonymous with Middle-Earth and the films have made the country a tourist destination for fans of the films across the globe; you can even visit the real Hobbiton there. While New Zealand seems the obvious choice when it comes to filming Amazon’s new series, Scotland was also considered.
Amazon’s series will not be a direct adaptation of any of Tolkien’s books, but will instead be set long before the War of the Ring, during the second age of Middle-Earth. This period may be hundreds of years before many of the main characters of Lord of the Rings were born, but, many events occurred during this period which would go on to set the stage for Sauron’s war.
As The Guardian reports, filming is set to begin within the next few months and the series is expected to cost over $1 billion, making it the most expensive TV show ever made. Fans will no doubt be pleased the series will be shot in Middle-Earth’s spiritual home and economic development minister, Phil Twyford, said it will create jobs and attract overseas investments.
The news may not be welcomed by some New Zealanders as the shooting of the previous films, including the recent Hobbit movies, resulted in the controversial ‘Hobbit Law’, which prevented film contractors from bargaining, and later resulted in overcrowding at tourist hotspots connected to the films. The law was passed after Warner Bros. and Jackson threatened to take filming elsewhere.
New Zealand’s government film subsidies offers a rebate of up to 25%, which will no doubt cause anger from the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, which previously warned against what it views as “international bidding wars using taxpayers’ money.”
A release date for the series is yet to be confirmed but it is expected in the early 2020’s.