Amazon has announced 20 new cast members for their upcoming Lord of the Rings series, adding to the 15 actors already named earlier this year.
Amazon has officially announced 20 new cast members for their upcoming The Lord of the Rings series, currently in production in New Zealand. Set in Middle-earth before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, the new show will be run and executive produced by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Amazon is shooting a majority of the series in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson’s own iconic Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were filmed.
The Amazon series will be set during Middle-earth’s Second Age – a period of thousands of years before The Hobbit and the War of the Ring (which took place in the Third Age). Given that timeline and what takes place in the Second Age in Tolkien’s writings, it’s likely that the new show will primarily focus on the island nation of Númenor. In the lore of Middle-earth, Númenor was a powerful force that became slowly corrupted by the forces of darkness until it was ultimately sunk into the sea. Those of the Númenor bloodline (like Aragorn) live much longer than ordinary humans.
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Whatever story the show ends up telling, it’s now officially added many more actors to the mix. In a press release from Amazon, 20 new cast members were named, including actors from New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The list of new additions is Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani.
Seven of those 20 names are from New Zealand, and most of them are veterans of TV, stage acting, or both. They will join the already extensive previously announced cast list of Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. Given the sheer number of actors now known to be involved, it would seem Amazon is looking to match scale with past fantasy epics like Game of Thrones.
If the reports of the show’s near-$1 billion budget are correct, it would also set records as one of the most expensive TV series ever produced. With HBO preparing to strike back into the fantasy space with any number of Game of Thrones spinoffs, Amazon may have to bring their all to compete in the space, even with the credibility Tolkien’s name carries. With the announced cast now hitting 35 members, The Lord of the Rings looks up to the task, at least in terms of scale.
Next: Every Unmade Lord Of The Rings Movie (& Why They Didn’t Happen)
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