Amazon Studios’ new Lord Of The Rings prequel series has lined up the director for its first two episodes.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona will be following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson in taking on Tolkien’s epic fantasy world, a deadline.com exclusive revealed on Wednesday.
Bayona won Spain’s Goya Awards’ Best New Director for his first film, The Orphanage, executive produced by Guillermo Del Toro, which premiered to a ten minute standing ovation at the Cannes Festival in 2007. He also directed the first two episodes of Showtime’s hit series Penny Dreadful.
The new series is set to explore new storylines surrounding events before The Fellowship Of The Ring.
“J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honour and a joy to join this amazing team,” Bayona said. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.”
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said of Bayona “The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord Of The Rings.”
Bayona is also taking an executive producer role alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza.
The series is being handled by a writing room headed up by JD Payne and Patrick McKay.
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” they said.
The series has a multi-season commitment in a blockbuster nine-figure rights deal with the Tolkien estate. It is being produced by Amazon in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, Harper Collins and New Line Cinema, which produced the Peter Jackson trilogy.