Amazon Prime's Lord of the Rings Show Heads To The UK For Season 2

Is Lord of the Rings moving out, or heading back home?

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Lord of the Rings was borne of the mind of British author J.R.R. Tolkien, but brought to life in the early 2000s by Kiwi director Peter Jackson. While the films and the first season of the upcoming show were shot in New Zealand, though, the series is heading back to its birthplace for Lord of the Rings Season 2, Variety reports.

The as-yet-untitled series completed shooting this month and is now moving into post-production. For Season 2, though, the show reportedly will make the move to the United Kingdom in 2022.

"As we look to relocate the production to the U.K., we do not intend to actively pursue the Season One MoU five percent financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement," said Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng. The first part of that statement is the important part--official confirmation from Cheng that the production is heading to the U.K.

Ever since Peter Jackson's first shots for Fellowship of the Ring, the live-action adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been shot primarily in New Zealand, making this the first time a modern Lord of the Rings production has gone anywhere else. Variety notes that Amazon has a bunch of other productions in the U.K., including Neil Gaiman's Good Omens Season 2 and Nancy Boys, and Naomi Alderman's novel The Power. In other words, this seems like an effort to condense production and simplify finances for the studio.

"We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing The Lord of the Rings series with an incredible place to begin an epic journey," said Amazon Studios vice president Vernon Sanders. "We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One."

Previous reports about the show have it set during the Second Age of Middle-Earth, thousands of years before the events of the Lord of the Rings films. Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has expressed confusion at the show being called Lord of the Rings, considering this, though it's worth noting again that the show's title is not yet confirmed. It seems likely that it will have Lord of the Rings in the name for branding purposes, but that's not guaranteed. Viggo Mortensen, meanwhile, had good things to say about Season One director J.A. Bayona.

Amazon reportedly has spent nearly half a billion dollars on the show so far. The company's official description for the show says it'll have "familiar" characters as well as new ones. Characters like Legolas, Arwen, Elrond, and Galadriel's ages reach into the thousands of years, so any of those older characters--not to mention Gandalf--could conceivably appear. The Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series is currently set to hit Prime Video on September 2, 2022.

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