JD Payne and Patrick McKay announced as showrunners for Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series
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With a rumoured budget of $1 billion for a five-season run, it seems Amazon are eager to invest in the Lord of the Rings TV series they currently have under development. A lot of the details behind the series, including characters, original storytelling and the adaptation of JRR Tolkien's work have yet to be confirmed, but we now have an idea of who will be shaping the direction of the show, with two showrunners announced.
JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who are currently working on the script for the rebooted Star Trek 4, have been confirmed as The Lord of the Rings showrunners. The pair made the following statement regarding their appointment:
“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity. We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”
Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke also made the following statement, clarifying some of the rumours around the show's development:
“Despite all the noise around Lord Of The Rings, the deal only closed like a month ago. But in the meantime, I’ve sat with Simon Tolkien for a couple of hours, and [Amazon TV executive] Sharon [Tal Yguado] has spent tons of time with them. She had spent the last couple of months meeting anyone who had said, I’m really passionate about it and I want to get in and talk about the show and what’s possible.”
Simon Tolkien is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, whose father Christopher Tolkien manages the Tolkien Estate. That Estate has approved work on the series.
Salke has also confirmed some of the details around the planned production.
“I think we might be in New Zealand. I don’t know, but we’re going to have to go somewhere interesting that could provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible. There’s no shortage of ambition for the project. We’ll go where we need to go to make it happen.”
She has also confirmed that discussions are underway with Peter Jackson who wrote produced and directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie adaptations.
You can find more details from Salke in her interview with Deadline...