Amazon has set Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona to direct the hotly-anticipated series ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ J.A. Bayona is known as the director of ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,’ the second installment of the ‘Jurassic World’ trilogy. He will reportedly direct the first two episodes of the fantasy series which is based on the cult novel series of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Though the plot details of the forthcoming series are kept under hood, various reports suggest that the storyline will pick up years after director Peter Jackson wrapped up his legendary ‘Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy with ‘The Return of the King.’ The upcoming series will follow new threads set in the Second Age preceding ‘The Fellowship of the Ring.’
In a determined effort to match HBO’s genre-defining drama series ‘Game of Thrones,’ Amazon pumps a big chunk of money for the first two seasons. The expected cost of the series is twice that of the combined budget of all three films in Jackson’s trilogy, making it one of the most expensive television productions ever. Bayona will executive produce the project alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza.
“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,” Bayona is quoted as saying by Deadline, “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,”
JD Payne and Patrick McKay are set to adapt the screenplay for the series. They reportedly run a writers room that presumably consists of Gennifer Hutchison (‘Breaking Bad’) and Bryan Cogman (‘Game of Thrones’).
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” Payne and McKay are quoted as saying by Deadline, “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 emerged as a prominent filmmaking talent to watch out for with his feature directorial debut ‘The Orphanage,’ a thriller which went on to become a critical and commercial success. Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film garnered a 10-minute standing ovation during its Cannes Film Festival premiere in 2007. The movie also earned Bayona the Goya Award for Best New Director.
‘The Lord of the Rings’ series is produced by Amazon Studios in association with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.
Cover Image Courtesy: New Line Cinema.