One of the key pieces of content in Amazon’s quest to compete with Netflix has found a key cog. Their Lord Of The Rings series has secured Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona to helm the show. He will reportedly oversee direction on the first two episodes, establishing the look and feel of the series, as well as setting the course for the rest of the season’s direction.
This is obviously a huge gig. One, because the series itself is looking to be Amazon’s answer to Game Of Thrones. So expect big budgets and a huge scope. And two, because anything Bayona does will be compared to Peter Jackson‘s legendary work on the original Lord Of The Rings cinematic trilogy. That’s a tough act to follow (although Jackson’s less impressive Hobbit films ease the burden somewhat).
Bayona is a solid choice though. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom proved he could handle a big budget, even if the film wasn’t too memorable. But prior to that he also directed A Monster Calls and the Jackson-esque The Orphanage. All of these films have a touch of Tolkien in them, but now Bayona will have to prove he can handle the real thing.
Bayona said in a press release: “J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honour and a joy to join this amazing team. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle Earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story”.
The series is set during Middle Earth’s Second Age, and will focus on the life-changing events which precede The Fellowship of the Ring. Unsurprisingly, Game Of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman signed on to write the series in May. No casting announcements have yet been made. We also don’t know when the series is expected to be available.
We do know that the series will span five seasons. It will show key events from Middle Earth’s Second Age, which include Sauron’s rise, and the forming of the rings of power. Bayona and Cogman will have a tough job on their hands to match the epic scale of previous Lord Of The Rings films. Expect to hear plenty more about the series, as Amazon have a lot invested in it.