When Amazon brings audiences back to Lord of the Rings, it’ll be in a Middle-earth that looks mighty familiar. The streamer announced today that production will take place in New Zealand, the same country Peter Jackson filmed both his film trilogy and all three chapters of The Hobbit.
In a statement, showrunners and executive producers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne praised the setting as well as the “Kiwi hopsitality” it affords:
“As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff. And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings…We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
Not too many details are out there yet about the series’ exact plot, but it will take place before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s landmark fantasy novels. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona will direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer, while Will Poulter (Midsommar) was recently cast in an unknown lead role. For a full list of the series’ behind-the-scenes credits—which includes producers Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, as well as a few legit Tolkien scholars—head here.