Hollywood News

‘The Lord of the Rings’ Series to Relocate Season 2 Production to UK, Amazon Studios Announces

Amazon Studios announced on Thursday that the second season of its original series based on The Lord of the Rings, will shift its production to UK from New Zealand. The move is a bid to expand the studio’s production footprint and to invest in studio space across the UK, the statement added.


Season one of the untitled series, that wrapped up its shooting and is scheduled to release on September 2, 2022, will continue its post-production in New Zealand.

Pre-production for season two of the series is expected to begin in early 2022.

Based on the Second Age of Middle-Earth’s history from author JRR Tolkein’s books, the series will be a prequel to the existing films in the franchise, set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books and featuring an ensemble of both familiar and new characters.

The series is led by show-runners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay. It will feature episodes directed by the likes of JA Bayona, Wayne Che Yip, and Charlotte Brändström.

“We want to thank the people and the government of New Zealand for their hospitality and dedication and for providing The Lord of the Rings series with an incredible place to begin this epic journey,” said Vernon Sanders, VP and Co-Head of TV, Amazon Studios.

The Economic Development Minister of New Zealand, Stuart Nash, however, said that he was “disappointed” by the decision to relocate the production. “The international film sector is incredibly competitive and highly mobile. We have no regrets about giving this production our best shot with government support. However, we are disappointed for the local screen industry,” he added.

Films like The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Sweet Tooth, and X-Men origins: Wolverine, to name a few, have been shot in New Zealand.


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was announced between Amazon and the New Zealand government in March last year to secure multi-year economic and tourism benefits to the country, outside the screen production itself, in exchange for expanded screen production grants for Amazon.

Nash revealed that this MoU will no longer be applicable and the 5% incentive previously offered to Amazon in addition to the standard 20% rebate for all international film productions is withdrawn.

Amazon Studios confirmed the same in its press release and said, “As we look to relocate the production to the UK, we do not intend to actively pursue the Season One MoU 5% financial uplift with the New Zealand government or preserve the terms around that agreement. However, we respectfully defer to our partners and will remain in close consultation with them around next steps.”