The Lord of the Rings has been indelibly associated with New Zealand for more than two decades. Kiwi director Peter Jackson made perhaps the greatest tourist advert of all time with his epic trilogy, with this homeland as much a star as any of the actors. The Hobbit movies were also filmed there and, until recently, so was Amazon’s hotly-anticipated TV show set in Middle-earth.
With the first season in the can, work was set to begin in earnest on the second in early 2022. But Amazon Studios threw a bomb into the New Zealand movie industry with their announcement in August that they’re moving production to the U.K., many theorizing that strict NZ COVID restrictions were the reason.
Now Variety is reporting that the second season is taking shape and two British filming locations have already been decided. The first is the iconic Bray Film Studios, which once hosted Hammer Horror and has since become a popular alternative to Pinewood Studios.
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They’ll also be shooting scenes at Bovingdon Airfield, which has previously doubled for settings as diverse as Rogue One‘s Scarif and the Kent family farmhouse in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Both of these places give the shoot privacy and will likely be used for the construction of elaborate sets, but I’m sure there’ll also be a lot of location filming taking place too. My thinking is that we should look to other places Star Wars has filmed for an idea of where they may be heading: with the lush woodland of the Forest of Dean, the Scottish coastline, and parts of Northern Ireland probable candidates for Tolkienesque scenery.
The Lord of the Rings will air on Amazon Prime in September 2022 and is set to be the most expensive TV show of all time. So far we’ve only seen a single image, so let’s hope for a teaser trailer at some point soon.