Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” television series is getting a casting shake-up as previously announced series regular Tom Budge is departing the big-budget Tolkien project because “Amazon has decided to go in another direction with the character” (via /Film). The actor broke the news on his Instagram page. Budge was announced as a cast member for “Lord of the Rings” at the 2020 TCA winter press tour, where Amazon unveiled the official acting roster. Budge was joined by the likes of Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, and Ema Horvath, among others.
“Hello loves, it is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you I have departed Amazon’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ television series,” Budge wrote on social media. “After recently seeing the first episodes shot over the last year Amazon has decided to go in another direction with the character I was portraying. I must thank the creative team for their encouragement towards trying something that I believed was new, exciting and beautiful.”
Budge added, “And I sincerely thank the extraordinary cast and crew for their love, support and friendship over what has been a very difficult and unusual experience. Alas, some things just cannot be.”
Amazon never disclosed what role Budge would be playing in the “Lord of the Rings” series. Fellow actors such as James Badge Dale and Alice Englert took to Budge’s comments to express support over the news of his departure. A source close to Amazon tells IndieWire that it was a studio decision to recast the role and it was an amicable decision.
Australian actor Budge is best known for appearing on the country’s popular television series “Neighbours,” “Round the Twist,” and “Shock Jock.” He most recently appeared opposite Mia Wasikowska in “Judy and Punch.” Budge earned nominations from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards for his supporting performance in “Last Train to Freo.”
While Budge has exited the series, there are no additional reports of casting changes. Amazon has also not issued a release date for the series. The show is developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and features direction from “The Orphanage” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” director J. A. Bayona.
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