Amazon Studios has picked New Zealand as the filming location for its much-anticipated “Lord of the Rings” television series.
The show is widely tipped to be the most expensive ever made, at a cost of at least $1bn.
The choice of New Zealand is not too surprising, seeing that the movie trilogy was filmed there, and received much praise for its scenic, panoramic settings.
The TV show however is not a retelling of the classic LOTR story.
Amazon Studios says the new adaptation will instead explore fresh storylines preceding “The Fellowship of the Ring”, which is the first book in the trilogy.
It says pre-production has started, with shooting to begin in Auckland in the coming months.
There is no official word yet on cast members, though some reports claim Australian actress Markella Kavenagh and British actor Will Poulter (“We’re the Millers”, “Maze Runner”) had signed on to the project.