The Creators of Amazons Lord of the rings have unveiled the most comprehensive look at the series yet at the annual San Diego Comic-Con convention, promising a completely different immersion in the fantasy world of Middle-earth.
Watch the latest trailer for the series here:
The expensive series – subtitled The Rings of Power and filmed in New Zealand– is set 4000 years before the events of the blockbuster film adaptations of author JRR Tolkien’s beloved books, during the period known as the Second Age.
Peter Jackson’s films are set in the Third Age, which “was post-apocalyptic, all these kingdoms fell,” Patrick McKay, co-creator of the new series, told fans in a packed convention hall.
Rings of Power begins with Middle-earth at a time of peace, “alive and full of light,” and features the shimmering island kingdom of Numenor, McKay said. The Harfoots, ancestors of the hobbits, are nomadic and “far from the Shire,” he said.
“It means meeting every single race of Middle-earth in a different place,” McKay said.
Co-creator JD Payne said the calm at the beginning of the story will soon be threatened.
“Just imagine your home, your family, your job, your cosplay costume, the things that matter most to you,” Payne said.
“Then suddenly imagine everything being taken away. How far would you go in the dark to protect her? That’s the story we’re telling,” he said.
McKay and Payne appeared with several members of a large cast including Morfydd Clark who plays the young elf warrior Galadriel and Robert Aramayo who portrays the half-elf Elrond.
Amazon released a three-minute trailer to build excitement for the series ahead of its Sept. 2 debut on its Prime Video streaming service.
The company plans to have the story unfold over five seasons in 50 hours.
The online retailer spent around NZ$743 million producing the first part of the show, which was filmed in New Zealand, making it one of the most expensive TV shows ever produced.
New Zealand – no longer home of the Lord of the Rings
In April 2021, the government struck a deal with Amazon that gave the global giant a more than $100 million boost to film The Lord of the Rings TV series in the country.
According to a letter of intent, Amazon would receive an additional 5 percent from the Screen Production Grant, in addition to the 20 percent for which the production had already qualified.
Filming for the first season ended in August 2021 after production was suspended for two weeks in mid-March 2020 due to Covid.
The series was among a handful of productions that were granted exemptions from New Zealand’s Covid-19 travel ban, allowing crew members from outside the country to work here after testing and a period of quarantine.
According to Economic Development Secretary Stuart Nash, the shooting resulted in the creation of 2000 jobs in a Covid-hit year.
However, in August of the same year, Amazon Studios informed the government that post-production work on the first season would continue in New Zealand until June 2022, but the second season would be filmed in the UK.
In a statement, Amazon said: “The move from New Zealand to the UK is in line with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the UK, as many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films are already based in the UK are at home”.
Nash told RNZ Amazon that the decision was business and denied the move had anything to do with pandemic rules and mandatory MIQ stays.