Amazon’s mega-budgeted “Lord of the Rings” television series has the green light to resume production in New Zealand, and ex-cast member Will Poulter assures fans the final product is “going to be incredible.” News broke last September that the “Black Mirror” and “The Revenant” actor was joining the “Lord of the Rings” series in a leading role, but Poulter dropped out of the project in December. Amazon never formally announced Poulter’s hiring or departure, but the actor tells NME in a new interview that he was signed on at one point to star.
“Unfortunately, there’s no particularly interesting story, other than the fact that there was a last-minute change to the schedule, which meant that there was a clash for me and I was unable to do it,” Poulter said about why he dropped out of the highly-anticipated “Rings” series. “I have utmost respect for everyone involved in that project. And I have no doubt it’s going to be incredible.”
Poulter could not reveal which role he was signed on to play. Almost everything about Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series remains under wraps other than confirmation the show will take place during the Second Age of Middle Earth, which is long before the adventures of Frodo and the fellowship of the ring. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are the showrunners of the series. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” director J.A. Bayona is directing the first two episodes and is serving as an executive producer. The Poulter-free cast includes Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Sophia Nomvete, Joseph Mawle, and Robert Aramayo, among others.
In a video interview with IndieWire last week, “Lord of the Rings” film franchise star Elijah Wood said he would “absolutely” be interested in reprising his role of Frodo on the show if an appearance made sense. Given the show takes place years before the events of the movie trilogy, it appears unlikely Frodo will turn up on television. The timeline is part of the reason Wood said it’s a bit “misleading” to call the upcoming TV series a “Lord of the Rings” show.
“From what I understand, the material they are working on exists chronologically further back in history in the lore of ‘Lord of the Rings’ or Middle Earth than any characters represented in ‘Lord of the Rings,'” Wood said. “It sounds more ‘Silmarillion’ era. Not to get nerdy, but it’s the Second Age of Middle Earth.”
Poulter’s recent credits include Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” and motion capture work in the video game “The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,” which is set for release in October 2020.
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