The first season of Amazon’s much-anticipated series adaptation of The Lord of the Rings isn’t even in production yet. The series is currently in pre-production in New Zealand, where the show will be filmed. But whatever Amazon has seen of what’s been developed so far has given them all of the confidence necessary to move forward with an early greenlight for season two.
Shortly after we found out that Amazon was in talks for a Lord of the Rings TV series back in 2017, it was confirmed that they had reached a deal and had committed to a multiple-season adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s classic work. So seeing that season two has been greenlighted, even this early, is not all that surprising. But according to reports their multiple-season commitment didn’t necessarily guarantee a second season—understandable, considering the mind-boggling mountains of coin that would be required to produce the five seasons Amazon committed to—and an official greenlight was still needed.
The second season greenlight was confirmed to Deadline by Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke at the company’s holiday party this past weekend. With the decision, Amazon is also re-assembling the writer’s room to work on the follow-up season.
In addition to the season two confirmation, a hiatus for production on the first season of The Lord of the Rings was also revealed. The plan is to film the first two episodes of the debut season, which are both set to be directed by J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, A Monster Calls, The Orphanage), and then take the hiatus for four to five months.
During that hiatus, the footage that they shoot will be evaluated before moving forward with the season. Usually networks order just a pilot episode and look at that before deciding whether or not to order a full season, but because this was a straight-to-series order taking the hiatus will hopefully help to ensure a better final product.
The hiatus will also be an important time for showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who lead the show’s writing team. They’ll be developing and writing a majority of the scripts for the second season during that time.
According to Deadline this strategy means that some of season two could be shot while they’re still filming season one, or they could possibly even decide to shoot both the rest of season one and all of season two after returning from the hiatus. If they can pull it off, shooting the first two seasons (mostly) back-to-back makes plenty of sense. Peter Jackson shot his entire LOTR film trilogy, also filmed in New Zealand, all as one gigantic production.
A release window for season one of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, which is set to star Will Poulter, has not yet been announced.
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