'Lord of the Rings' Amazon Prime Video series hires 'Jurassic World' director J.A. Bayona

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When Amazon Prime Video announced its Lord of the Rings prequel series back in 2017, news about what the expansive TV universe would include was scarce. The streaming service has since hired writers, is now scouting locations and even activated social media pages! 

In July, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona signed on to helm the first two episodes of the series. He is joined by producing partner Belén Atienza — both will be credited as executive producers. “J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team,” Bayona said in a statement. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”

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Amazon revealed earlier this year that the show would be set before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. While his novels are better known, Tolkien developed an enormous world and history, of which the books are a tiny part. This series appears to be taking place thousands of years earlier, chronicling the rise of Sauron and the creation of the rings of power. Amazon has also teased that the kingdom of Numenor — which is essentially Tolkien’s equivalent of Atlantis — will play a part.

Tolkien’s world is a huge get for Amazon, which is working to grow its customer base as companies like Apple and Disney muscle their way into the streaming video market, especially as HBO’s Game of Thrones just ended. HBO has at least three Game of Thrones spin-off shows in the works, and other streaming platforms, like WarnerMedia, are readying their own epic shows, like a tie-in series Denis Villeneuve's forthcoming film Dune. With Lord of the Rings, Amazon will have its own major franchise that already has widespread name recognition.

(Source: Rotten Tomatoes and Twitter)

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