Deadline has word that the New Zealand production of Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series has resumed and Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop heading towards a start on September 30th, both series had been shooting in Auckland.
Filming has just resumed in New Zealand on Amazon’s sprawling The Lord Of The Rings TV series, an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, I have learned. Production on Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is slated to restart on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the island country where Netflix’s Sweet Tooth has been shooting since Sept. 14, sources said. The three shows were among handful of Hollywood TV series and movies that were granted border exemptions by the New Zealand government in July to film in the country.
The Lord of The Rings series will take place during The Second Age of Middle-Earth, which means this will be thousands of years before the events of two feature film trilogies that took place in The Third Age. It’s cast includes Robert Aramayo, Markella Kavenagh, Morfydd Clark, Ema Horvath, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, and Joseph Mawle.
The Second Age sees the rise of Sauron, who has replaced Melkor aka Morgoth as the new Dark Lord after Morgoth is banished to the void. During this time Sauron creates the rings of power and uses them to destroy multiple ancient kingdoms leading to the battle scene in the prologue sequence from Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring.
It’ll be interesting to see if we’ll end up seeing fair-faced version of Sauron and the origin of The Witch King, who might have been a Numenorean king of the ancient island kingdom. A key location that is going to be explored in the series.
Sadly, Amazon is tackling The Second Age because they don’t have access to The First Age, which is mostly covered in The Silmarillion and the History of Middle-Earth. This could lead to Amazon having to come up with a lot of that mythology on their own and filling blanks with the help of the Tolkien Estate. This series will likely be familiar to fans but will also likely be it’s own thing.
We are hearing they’ll be adding many familiar Middle-Earth creatures but remains to be seen if they’ll attempt to make the production design match the Peter Jackson films.
Deadline adding that writers have used the production pause to start writing Season 2 (previously confirmed) scripts which isn’t shocking it’s being planned as getting five seasons.
The writing team of the series, led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, used the time to map out and write Season 2 scripts.
Netflix had begun shooting the live-action Cowboy Bebop last fall and after a knee injury suffered by lead actor John Cho led to a hiatus in Auckland before the COVID-19 impacted global production. Resuming this week sounds is the first step for them to finally get this completed after a year of hiccups.
COWBOY BEOP – Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc., Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. They’ll even save the world…for the right price.
This news comes after James Cameron recently confirmed to Arnold Schwarzenegger that they’ve completed live-action filming on Avatar 2 and is 95% completed on Avatar 3. Those two massive sequels had been shooting at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand.