Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series to have J.A. Bayona direct

The Lord of the Rings John Howe

Art by John Howe

J.A. Bayona is known for directing The Orphanage, a psychological horror movie that was praised by critics, and Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, a film with mixed critical reception but audiences enjoyed it with a CinemaScore of A-. Amazon has announced that Bayona will be directing the first two episodes of its upcoming The Lord of the Rings series.

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the actual story and characters of the series, but we do know that it will be set during the Second Age. One theory is that it could follow the rise and fall of Númenor, a tale that’s heavily inspired by the Atlantis legend.

In addition to helming the first two episodes, Bayona will be an executive producer with his partner Belén Atienza.

“J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”

“The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén.” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”

“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay. “We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic, and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.”

Bayona has also directed A Monster Calls starring Liam Neeson and The Impossible starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. He isn’t new to the television realm since he directed the first two episodes of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful.

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