There was widespread shock and more than a touch of anger among The Lord of the Rings fans when it was announced that Season 2 of Amazon’s hotly-anticipated TV series was moving production out of New Zealand and into the United Kingdom when shooting kicks off early next year, and with good reason.
The country has been part of Middle-earth’s visual language ever since The Fellowship of the Ring was released 20 years ago, and it’s hard to imagine any other nation on the planet providing the same sort of jaw-dropping vistas, unless of course the streamer is planning to simply add in digital backdrops in the same way The Mandalorian utilizes its Stagecraft technology to provide an added layer of immersion during filming.
Having shot six blockbuster movies and an entire season of television in New Zealand, it’s a bold and very risky move for The Lord of the Rings to head onto pastures new. Encapsulating the mood among the entire fanbase was Elijah Wood, who summed things up neatly in a tweet that you can check out below.
It’s definitely a facepalm given that New Zealand is Middle-Earth for a lot of people, and Sweet Tooth creator Jim Mickle was quick to reassure the online community that the next run of Netflix’s smash hit comic book adaptation was staying put for Season 2. You’d have to think the reasons might be financially-motivated to at least some extent given that Amazon forked out over a billion dollars for a five-season commitment and then spent $465 million on the first batch of episodes alone, but that doesn’t make it any easier to imagine The Lord of the Rings calling anywhere but NZ home.