James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequels are already back in production in New Zealand, and the next massive Hollywood project expected to resume filming in the country is Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” television series. New Zealand talent agency BGT Actors Models & Talent has issued an open casting call for “funny looking” actors or people with scars, burns, missing bones, and more (via The Guardian) to most likely appear as extras in the series. BGT provided extras for Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” film franchise.
BGT is located in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and is calling for actors in the area who have “facial burns, long skinny limbs, acne scars, deep cheekbones, a bulbous or interesting nose, ears that stick out, facial lines, missing bones, large eyes, skinny faces, and more.” Also desirable are “androgynous men and women, hairy hairy people of all ages and ethnicities, circus performers who can juggle, stocky mean-looking bikers, and red heads of all ages, shapes, and sizes.” The casting call is only for people who are New Zealand residents or hold a valid New Zealand work visa.
The Guardian reports the “Lord of the Rings” series previously put out an open casting call in October for actors who were “particularly tall (over 1.95m), short (below 1.5m), androgynous, or hairy.” The booker who wrote the casting call could not confirm to the The Guardian it was for the Amazon series, but the publication reports the casting call went out on social media with mention of the “Lord of the Rings” series before it got removed.
Production on the “Lord of the Rings” series was suspended in March due to the pandemic. New Zealand is the first country to allow Hollywood productions such as “Avatar” to resume filming. The United Kingdom is up next with “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which is expected to resume production the first full week of July.
Amazon closed a deal in November 2017 for television rights to “The Lord of the Rings” that was reportedly worth $250 million. The streaming giant is expected to spend up to $1 billion to produce five seasons of the show. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are serving as showrunners. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” filmmaker J.A. Bayona is directing the first two installments of the series. The cast includes mostly newcomers, including “Saint Maud” breakout Morfydd Clark, Nazanin Boniadi, Robert Aramayo, Tom Budge, Dylan Smith, and Owain Arthur.