Wayne Che Yip has joined the creative team behind The Lord of the Rings TV series, as both a co-executive producer and director, Amazon Studios said today. As a director, he’ll follow in the footsteps of J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls), who helmed the series’ first two episodes.
Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, The Lord of the Rings is described as an “epic drama” set in the Second Age of Middle-earth — thousands of years before the events of the Lord of the Rings films, and the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien on which they were based.
Following a huge ensemble of characters, as they confront the re-emergence of evil on their continent, the show will take viewers from the depths of the Misty Mountains, to the forests of elf-capital Lindon, to the stunning island kingdom of Númeno and beyond.
“It is a true honor to be invited into the world of Tolkien by J.D. & Patrick and Amazon Studios,” said Yip, whose directing credits include episodes of Hunters, Preacher, Utopia, Doctor Who, and upcoming Amazon fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. “Every day I look forward to working with the incredible team here in New Zealand as we humbly contribute to the legacy of the greatest stories ever told.”
On The Lord of the Rings, Payne and McKay serve as showrunners and executive producers. Their fellow EPs include Bayona, Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond and Sharon Tal Yguado, with Christopher Newman on board as producer.
It was back in 2017 that development on the series kicked off. In November of that year, Amazon purchased the television rights to The Lord of the Rings for nearly $250 million. Subsequently, the studio made a five-season production commitment, worth around $1 billion. Given this commitment, the Amazon Original is making history as the most expensive TV series ever mounted.
While production on Season 1 kicked off in Auckland in February of 2020, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic put it on hold until September. The Lord of the Rings‘ first eight-episode season is expected to launch on Prime Video this year, and a second has already been ordered.
Yip is repped by Camille McCurry at United Agents, and by Philip d’Amecourt, Abe Cohen Hoffing and Zach Druker at William Morris Endeavor.
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