We’ve still got over a year to wait for Amazon’s as-yet untitled, verifiably expensive Lord of the Rings series chronicling the Second Age of Middle-earth, which won’t grace our screens until September 2, 2022. But on the heels of news that season one just wrapped principal photography in New Zealand—a country whose majestic landscapes, so lovingly showcased in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, have become inextricably linked with J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales—comes this announcement: season two is picking up stakes and shifting to the United Kingdom.
The reason? Convenience with a side of cohesion. “The shift from New Zealand to the UK aligns with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the UK, with many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films already calling the UK home,” according to an Amazon press release, which also quotes Vernon Sanders, Amazon Studios’ VP and Co-Head of TV, offering thanks to “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.”
The press release also notes that season one’s post-production is still underway in New Zealand and will be through June 2022, with pre-production on season two ramping up in the UK in early 2022.
At least one member of Jackson’s tight-knit cast had an opinion on this geographic shift: Elijah “Frodo Baggins” Wood, who tweeted out Variety’s reporting on the news accompanied by a facepalm emoji. He did note, in response to a fan, that the Lord of the Rings movies did film some interiors in England—but his emotional reaction to the production leaving Lord of the Rings’ spiritual home is likely to be shared by many. What do you think about this news? Will it make Amazon’s series lose some of its magic in its second season?
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