The recent news that the second season of Amazon's Lord of the Rings series will change filming location from New Zealand to the United Kingdom has been met with disappointment by many, with one Elijah Wood adding himself to the growing list of dissatisfied fans. The actor, who played the role of Frodo Baggins in director Peter Jackson's celebrated Lord of the Rings movies, took to social media to share his dismay via the perfect emoji.
Shooting on location in New Zealand has become an integral part of Lord of the Rings thanks to how Peter Jackson used the sweeping landscapes to bring J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth to life, something which he would repeat in The Hobbit trilogy. While the first season of the Amazon series has been filmed there, the studio announced recently that the second season will move over to the UK, much to the chagrin of the fanbase.
According to Amazon, the move "aligns with the studio's strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the UK, with many of Amazon Studios' tentpole series and films already calling the UK home". It has since been reported that the New Zealand government is "disappointed" with the decision made by the studio, with Economic development minister Stuart Nash saying that the country's film industry was "incredibly competitive and highly mobile". No doubt they, along with Elijah Wood and many Lord of the Rings fans, have been facepalming ever since the announcement was made.
This is not the first time that Elijah Wood has taken issue with Amazon's approach to the series, with the actor questioning the use of the title. "I find it bizarre that they're calling it Lord Of The Rings as a shorthand, because it's not Lord Of The Rings!" he said in an interview with Empire. "It takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth. I am fascinated by what they're doing with the show. They're calling it The Lord Of The Rings, but I think that's slightly misleading. From what I understand, the material they are working on exists chronologically further back in history in lore of Lord Of The Rings or Middle Earth than any characters represented in Lord Of The Rings. It sounds more Silmarillion era. Not to get nerdy, but it's the Second Age of Middle Earth."
Amazon's The Lord of the Rings series will indeed be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and follows an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth. The series will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.
Starring Saint Maud actor Morfydd Clark as Galadriel, Robert Aramayo as Beldor, Joseph Mawle as Oren and Markella Kavenagh as Tyra, Lord of the Rings is currently in post-production, with a recent first look image teasing the epic adventure to come. The first eight-episode season is expected to premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. This comes to us via the official Twitter account of Elijah Wood.