Director Peter Jackson only thought he knew what an epic undertaking of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books looked like.
Per our Hobbit-centric gremlins at The Hollywood Reporter comes news today that sheds even more light on just how massively sprawling in scope Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings series is actually on track to become.
This morning the company that Jeff Bezos built announced the addition of twenty new cast members to an already full-house of fifteen previously announced actors set to take on the world that writer extraordinaire J.R.R. Tolkien created lo these many years gone. Looks like Middle-earth is going to have to invest in some more housing.
Set to star in the new Lord of the Rings series that chronologically takes place before Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring are master thespians Sara Zwangobani (Home and Away), Cynthia-Addai-Robinson (The Accountant), Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Leon Wadham (Power Rangers Beast Morphers), new to the Hollywood game Ian Blackburn, Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich), Kip Chapman (Top of the Lake), Peter Tait (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), Anthony Crum (The Wilds), Augustus Prew (The Morning Show), Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce), Trystan Gravelle (The Terror), Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch), Thusitha Jayasundera (Broadchurch), Fabian McCallum (You, Me & The Apocalypse), Simon Merrells (Knightfall), Geoff Morrell (Rake), Peter Mullan (Westworld) and Lloyd Owen (Viva Laughlin).
This talented group will be joining a cast that promises to swell even more in coming weeks: An announcement for more cast is expected soon and the twenty announced today joins fifteen other actor’s already assigned specific roles.
Naturally, there’s a press release to go along with today’s roll-out of these twenty actors, this one coming directly from showrunners and executive producers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne in their best Willy Wonka presentational voice: “The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is epic, diverse and filled with heart. These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multiyear search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world life anew. The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family. We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”
Amazon rolled out the red carpet back in late 2017 for Tolkien’s seminal work by announcing the new series and, unusual for most series announced for pickup, a multiyear commitment for the new show. This new production is getting the royal treatment by virtue of Amazon producing the show in-house alongside the watchful eye of the Tolkien Estate and Trust (talk about a seal of approval!), publishing big-wheel HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Those cloak and dagger insiders that abound in Hollywood estimate that Amazon is fully onboard with the new series for a minimum of five seasons with a potential spin-off to be announced at a later date (i.e. pending final ratings for the new show). Final price tag for the show, including cast, budgets, visual effects makes James Cameron look like a piker: $1 BILLION DOLLARS. At least we can count on the catering to be top-notch…
No premiere date for The Lord of the Rings series as of yet, but you better bet your bottom dollar buckaroos that we’ll report any news on this anticipated show just as soon as we got ‘em.