'Lord of the Rings': Everything we know about Amazon's big series prequel, including new cast

Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY
·2 min read
'Lord of the Rings': Everything we know about Amazon's big series prequel, including new cast

A lucky group of actors will be heading to Middle Earth.

Amazon Thursday announced 20 new actors will join the cast of its forthcoming "Lord of the Rings" TV series, an ambitious project that will draw inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic books.

Since announcing it had acquired the rights to make a "Rings" TV show in 2017, the streaming service has been mostly mum on details about the fantasy epic. This second round of names comes after a first group was announced in January. To help keep all Tolkien fans, devoted and casual, in the loop, we rounded up everything we know about the series, even if we'll have to wait for longer than it took Frodo to walk to Mount Doom to see it.

When will the series debut? Is it even called 'The Lord of the Rings'?

Amazon started production on the series (in New Zealand, of course) in February, right before most film and TV production shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other shows, the series paused, but resumed production in September. Even before the virus made things more complicated (and increased the time it takes to shoot), the sprawling production and computer-generated creatures required for high fantasy series was going to extend the production time. A release date hasn't been announced.

The streaming service also hasn't confirmed a title, referring to it only as "a series based on 'The Lord of the Rings.'"

What is it about? When does it take place?

The series is not a remake of the movies, or even directly taken from Tolkien's books, but will include entirely new characters and events in Middle Earth. In the "Rings" timeline, the series is set long before the novels. The first season will be eight episodes.

Who is making it?

The series is being created by TV newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. J.A. Bayona ("Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom"), will direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza. Other producers include Lindsey Weber ("10 Cloverfield Lane"), Bruce Richmond ("Game of Thrones"), Gene Kelly ("Boardwalk Empire"), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison ("Breaking Bad"), Jason Cahill ("The Sopranos"), and Justin Doble ("Stranger Things").

Who is in the cast?

A diverse group of mostly unknown actors makes up the cast of the series. The newest additions include Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum and Maxine Cunliffe. Earlier this year Amazon announced its first group of actors "Game of Thrones" fans will see familiar faces Robert Aramayo, who played Young Ned Stark, and Joseph Mawle, who played Benjen Stark. See some of the cast so far in the gallery below.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Lord of the Rings' TV series on Amazon: Everything we know