Director Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is set to direct the first two episodes of Amazon’s forthcoming The Lord of the Rings Series, Deadline has learned. The series is set in Middle-earth and will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of The Ring.
Bayona will also executive produce together with Belén Atienza. JD Payne and Patrick McKay serve as writers. Payne and McKay lead a writers’ room, which includes Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad) and Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones).
“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,” said Bayona. “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.”
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said McKay and Payne. “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 also directed the features A Monster Calls and The Impossible as well as Showtime’s series Penny Dreadful.
“The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings,” said the head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke “He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén. We are all excited for them to join our writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”
The series is produced by Amazon Studios together with The Tolkien Estate and Trust, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, and HarperCollins.