Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings series swaps New Zealand for Maidenhead as production locations are set

Filming for the second season of the Lord Of The Rings prequel TV series is set to be begin in Maidenhead next spring – after moving locations from New Zealand. 

Amazon Prime’s blockbuster – the first season of which will premiere in September 2022 – will be shot in the Berkshire market town, switching from New Zealand where the film trilogy, The Hobbit and the TV series” first season were filmed.

Thought to be a major upset to the country’s movie industry, it marks the first time any live action project in the franchise will be produced outside of New Zealand.

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Exciting: Filming for the upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel TV series is set to be begin in Maidenhead next spring (above a still from the series)

Sources told Variety that Bray Film Studio will initially be the new homes to the upcoming mega-hit, with the former boasting almost 54,000 square feet and a 183,000-square-foot backlot.

Certainly in good company, the likes of Mamma Mia, Rocketman, Bodyguard and Dracula have used the studio.

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Production will also reportedly take place at Hertforshire’s Bovingdon Airfield, which has 60 acres of open land and has facilitated Justice League, Fast And The Furious 6 as well as Dancing On Ice.

Dan Grabiner, head of originals at Amazon Studios UK, told the publication: ‘I think [the move to the UK] speaks to the depth of talent here, the reputation, the skills, the infrastructure.

Masterpiece: Season 2 of Amazon Prime’s blockbuster will be shot in the town located to the west of London, after moving from New Zealand where the film trilogy and The Hobbit were filmed (Still from The Fellowship Of The Ring in 2001)

‘It is a large production. To make an operation like that work, you need world class people and world class talents working on it.’

Amazon Studios announced in August that ‘a new journey begins’ with a premiere on September 2, 2022.

The streaming giant also unveiled the first image from the show set in Middle-earth’s Second Age of a mystery caped character looking at a castle.

Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay reportedly wrapped the $465-budget eight-episode first season in New Zealand in April, and there’s plans for four additional seasons.  

Imposing: It’s been reported Bray Film Studio will initially be the new homes to the upcoming mega-hit, with the former boasting almost 54,000 square feet and a 183,000-square-foot backlot

Coming soon: Production will also reportedly take place at Hertforshire’s Bovingdon Airfield, which has 60 acres of open land and has facilitated Justice League, Fast And The Furious 6 as well as Dancing On Ice (pictured in 2018)

Overall, the five-season production deal cost Amazon an eye-popping $1B, which makes history as the most expensive TV series ever created – according to THR.

By contrast, HBO typically shelled out $100M per season of its hit show Game of Thrones.

The ensemble cast are mostly unknowns with Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials) replacing two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the royal immortal Elf, Galadriel.

‘I can’t express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth!’ Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement. 

Teaser: Thought to be a major upset to the country’s movie industry, it marks the first time any live action project in the franchise will be produced outside of New Zealand 

‘Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life.’

The epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films. 

Peter Jackson’s beloved original trilogy amassed 17 Oscars and $2.991B at the global box office, while the Hobbit trilogy earned $2.931B at the box office to far less critical acclaim.

It stemmed from the classic fantasy novels The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), and The Return of the King (1955) written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Newcomers: The ensemble cast are mostly unknowns with Morfydd Clark (L) replacing two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (R) as the royal immortal Elf, Galadriel

Read more:

  • Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Sets First U.K. Filming Locations – Variety