JA Bayona to direct Lord of the Rings series for Amazon

Spanish director JA Bayona will direct the Lord of the Rings Amazon TV series set to be filmed in New Zealand.

The Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director will direct the first two episodes of the show, which is set in the world created by JRR Tolkien and adapted into films by Sir Peter Jackson.

Bayona made a name for himself with 2007 horror movie The Orphanage, which was executive produced by Guillermo del Toro - who himself was set to direct The Hobbit films for part of their production.

"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 in a statement published by Deadline, which broke the story.

"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."

A spokesperson for Amazon Studios added that Bayona's "world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings".

New Zealand will be the primary filming location of the $1.5 billion production after the Government reassured Amazon it's safe to film here despite the Christchurch terror attack, according to reports.

The Amazon series is expected to premiere in 2021.


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