The Lord Of The Rings series from Amazon Studios will move to the UK from New Zealand for its second season, it has been announced.
The as-yet-untitled, big-budget series based on JRR Tolkien’s books has finished filming in New Zealand for its first instalment and is set to premiere on Prime Video in September next year.
The switch to the UK “aligns with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across” the country, Amazon said.
Vernon Sanders, VP and co-head of TV at Amazon Studios, said: “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 this epic journey.
“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.”
Post-production on season one of the series will continue in New Zealand until June 2022 and pre-production on the second season will begin concurrently next year.
New Zealand had been the location for Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the series was the most expensive ever made, with a budget said to be 465 million dollars (£336 million).
JD Payne and Patrick McKay will serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series, while actors announced as being part of the ensemble cast include Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Sophia Nomvete and Lloyd Owen.
The drama will portray Tolkien’s Second Age of Middle-earth’s history, according to Amazon.
It is set thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings books and features the “long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Delighted to hear that Amazon will be making their blockbuster second series of Lord Of The Rings right here in the UK.
“With our strengths in talent, production and the great environment created by UK Government initiatives, including the creative tax reliefs and the Film and TV Restart Scheme, it’s clear that we are attracting the very best content-makers in the world to our shores.
“Thousands of high-quality jobs all across the UK will be created and supported by The Lord Of The Rings television series so this is very exciting news as we build back better.”