With the streaming wars heating up, the major players are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into prestige series designed to keep subscribers hooked. And now that Game of Thrones has wrapped up, there’s a big gap in the market for dragons and swords and everyone’s eager to fill it. Netflix was first out of the gate with the excellent The Witcher and HBO is going with their Game of Thrones prequel show, but the biggest will undoubtedly be Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings.
We still don’t have many details on it, other than that it’ll be a mega-budget show set primarily during the Second Age (with the events we saw in the movies taking place in the Third Age). But we do also know that it’ll be shot in New Zealand, in order to capture the “primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth.” And now it looks like we’ve got another major cast member to report on.
Deadline brings word that British actor Maxim Baldry has signed on for a lead role. The Years and Years actor has been previously linked to the show, but hadn’t signed on the dotted line yet. This meant that he was left out of the January cast announcement. But now it seems that negotiations have concluded successfully and Baldry will indeed be playing a key part in the project.
He’ll be joining an impressive ensemble cast, too, featuring *deep breath* Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Joseph Mawle, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Markella Kavenagh, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Sophia Nomvete, Tyroe Muhafidin, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman.
Right now, we don’t know exactly who’s playing who, but Aramayo is rumored for the heroic Beldor, who may be squaring off against Joseph Mawle’s Oren. In addition, Morfydd Clark seems set to play a young (well, by elf-standards) Galadriel.
I have a hunch that Baldry might be lined up to play the big cheese himself, Sauron. In the show’s time period, Sauron should be an active participant in the action, with his humanoid form described as “fair and beautiful.” Baldry is pretty good looking, so perhaps the reason they fought so hard to get him is because he’s playing such an important role in the Lord of the Rings series? Time will tell, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.