One of the first things that comes to mind when you think about The Lord of the Rings are the sweeping landscape shots that show an intrepid band of heroes as mere specks against rolling hills, cavernous mountains, and open plains. With Peter Jackson maximizing the stunning natural scenery on offer in New Zealand, enhancing the backdrops with some visual effects trickery to place them in Middle-earth, the island nation truly brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision to life.
All six of the filmmaker’s blockbuster movies shot on location in the country, as did the first season of Amazon’s episodic adaptation, which was recently confirmed for a September 2022 premiere. However, in a move that’s no doubt going to shock a lot of Lord of the Rings fans, it’s been confirmed that the second season is upping sticks and heading to the United Kingdom.
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As per a new report, Season 2 is set to begin filming in the first quarter of 2022, with post-production continuing back in New Zealand. Obviously, this marks the first time a Lord of the Rings-related project has filmed outside of the country. You’d have to image that plenty of establishing shots and background plates have been captured already, because audiences will be looking for a sense of visual continuity throughout the show’s entire run.
Then again, the mega budget fantasy adaptation, which the streaming service has already committed a billion dollars to, is also going to rely heavily on green screens to fill in the gaps. But the criticisms repeatedly aimed at The Hobbit trilogy made it clear that expensive visual effects are no substitute for tangible and practical exteriors, and the New Zealand scenery is so unique and engaging that it can’t be replicated anywhere else on the planet. Let’s see if the U.K. is up to the task.