Amazon is making a tremendously expensive series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, with $250 million paid for the rights alone and another $250 to make the first two seasons. After that, who knows? We’re still not quite sure what the show will be about — early reports had it that it would revolve around the adventures of a young Aragorn, but more lately it’s looked like it will be set much earlier, during the Second Age of Middle-earth. In any case, according to Scottish paper the Daily Record, the show will start shooting later this year.
To be specific, it’ll start shooting this August in the Leith neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland, in a vast studio space that played host to the Avengers team some time back. According to the Daily Record’s source, “Lord of the Rings producers are hoping to start filming at the new studio from about August to November.”
A lot of arrangements are already in place. All that remains now is for it to be up and running in time – so the clock is ticking. It’s anticipated production will return for another three months from next March. There could be more after that. It’s a massive contract and a gigantic boost for the studio and for Scotland.
Pretty much everything about Amazon’s show is “gigantic,” so it makes sense that Amazon would return to the studio several times before we see a first season. They’re looking to make a very big splash.
Outlander, another popular fantasy show (of a very different kind, admittedly), also does a lot of filming in Scotland, in the town of Cumbernauld. Given how much Amazon is spending on the Lord of the Rings show, we expect it to film elsewhere around the world, too, but maybe the Edinburgh studio could become the show’s home base, like Titanic Studios in Belfast wast the home base for Game of Thrones.
Speaking of Thrones, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show is one of several big-ticket fantasy and sci-fi shows that will be vying for attention after HBO’s mega-hit goes off the air in May. It’s going to be an interesting bunch of years.
by Dan Selcke