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Amazon says 'Lord of the Rings' series will be filmed in New Zealand

By Karen Butler
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Amazon says 'Lord of the Rings' series will be filmed in New Zealand
Director J. A. Bayona will film the first two episodes of Amazon's "Lord of the Rings" prequel in New Zealand. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Amazon Studios announced Tuesday that it will film its upcoming The Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand.

"As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff. And we're happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings," show-runners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said in a joint statement.

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The show will explore new stories that take place before Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment in the Lord of the Rings book series.

J.A. Bayona -- whose credits include The Orphanage and Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom -- will direct the first two episodes of Amazon's project and will also serve as executive producer, alongside his partner, Belén Atienza.

Amazon has not officially announced the show's cast, but Will Poulter reportedly is up for the lead role.

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Peter Jackson previously filmed movie versions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, as well as three blockbusters inspired by Tolkien's The Hobbit in New Zealand.

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