Amazon Studios confirms its still-untitled “Lord of the Rings” series will leave New Zealand for the production of its second season. The filming of Season 2 will instead take place in the United Kingdom. A statement from Amazon said “the shift from New Zealand to the U.K. aligns with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the U.K., with many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films already calling the U.K. home.”
“We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey,” Vernon Sanders, VP and Co-Head of TV at Amazon Studios said in a statement. “We are grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, and others for their tremendous collaboration that supported the New Zealand film sector and the local economy during the production of Season One.”
Filming on the first season of “The Lord of the Rings” wrapped August 2 in New Zealand. Peter Jackson shot his “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies in New Zealand, which makes Amazon’s decision to leave the country and set up shop in the United Kingdom somewhat of a big deal for the franchise’s history onscreen. The Amazon series will kick off its run Friday, September 2, 2022 and air new episodes weekly.
While “Rings” Season 2 will be made in the United Kingdom, the series isn’t abandoning New Zealand all at once. Amazon Studios confirms the show’s first season will continue post-production in New Zealand through June 2022. Pre-production on Season 2 will begin concurrently in the U.K. at the start of 2022.
“As we look to relocate the production to the U.K., we do not intend to actively pursue the Season One MoU five percent financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement, however we respectfully defer to our partners and will remain in close consultation with them around next steps,” said Albert Cheng, COO & Co-Head of TV at Amazon Studios.
The official cast for Amazon’s “Rings” series includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.