Amazon has added another director to it’s hugely expensive Lord Of The Rings series. Having already brought Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona and frequent Doctor Who director Wayne Yip on board the series, Charlotte Brändström, director of Netflix’s The Witcher series, has now jumped on board to helm some episodes.
Brändström has also directed on other big shows such as The Man In The High Castle, Outlander, and Netflix’s recently released Jupiter’s Legacy. Her experience with high-profile shows like that surely appealed to Amazon, who can’t afford to have this series – now reportedly costing around a billion dollars in total, the most expensive TV show ever made – to fall flat on its face.
Of course, they actually can afford that, as the company is owned by the richest man in the world. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are the showrunners on the series, which is expected to release its eight-episode first season sometime in 2021. A second season has already been confirmed, little surprise considering Amazon made a five-season commitment when they bought the rights in 2017.
Commenting on the announcement, Brändström said: “I’m very excited to be guided through Middle-earth by J.D.’s and Patrick’s vision and immerse myself in the iconic world of J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s a great privilege to be in New Zealand to work with Amazon Studios’ outstanding ensemble of creative talents”.
The show is set thousands of years before the events of Tolkien’s books. It will follow an ensemble cast of characters – led by Robert Aramayo (Game Of Thrones) – as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle Earth. It will show key events from Middle Earth’s Second Age, which include Sauron’s rise, and the forming of the rings of power.
Obviously the show has an immense amount of hype to live up to considering the resources that have been poured into it. With the addition of Brändström, the series has a good selection of creative talent, but any project of this size always has the danger of falling off the rails.
However, considering Amazon’s commitment to making this series their flagship IP, they will no doubt put as much money as necessary into production to ensure that the show is good enough to draw in as many subscribers as possible.