Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series has found its first director.
Deadline has revealed that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A Bayona has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings series. Set in Middle Earth, the TV series will explore new storylines, acting as a prequel to Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
“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,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.”
The Lord of the Rings series is written by feature scribes JD Payne and Patrick McKay. They lead a writers room, which also includes Breaking Bad’s Gennifer Hutchison and Game Of Thrones veteran Bryan Cogman. Bayona will executive produce alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza.
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said Payne and McKay. “We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic, and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.”
Bayona is best known for directing the 2007 horror film The Orphanage, the 2012 drama film The Impossible, and the 2016 fantasy drama film A Monster Calls. His most recent film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide.
“The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”
The series is rumored to have a budget of $1.5 billion, making it the most expensive series in history. The Lord of the Rings is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.