If you’ve heard about Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings TV show and were afraid Middle Earth might leave New Zealand — don’t worry. The show, rumored to be the most expensive ever made at $1 billion, will explore the storylines of Middle Earth preceding the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and will look to capitalize on the success of the film series. Amazon Studios, which bought the rights to the show, has confirmed that pre-production has already started, and yes, just like the beloved movies, it’s being filmed 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,” said the studio, “we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine costs, forests, and mountains.” Given the criteria, it’s no surprise that the franchise is returning to New Zealand. The film sparked a major tourism boom for the country, with visitors eager to explore the Hobbit-holes of Middle Earth for themselves.
Scotland was the front-runner for the series’ filming location, but uncertainty surrounding the Brexit controversy derailed its chances, The Guardian reported.
Details of the TV show’s plot have been kept under wraps, but Amazon has revealed that the series will be set during the 3,441-year period before the Fellowship of the Ring, perhaps focusing on the adventures of a young Aragorn. An exact air date hasn’t been announced, but it’s slated to premiere in 2021.