Amazon's $1.5 billion Lord of the Rings television series based on the iconic fantasy novels by J R R Tolkien will shoot in New Zealand, it has been confirmed.
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The TV adaptation is set in Tolkien's world of Middle-earth, which will be recreated in several locations across Auckland.
"As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains," showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay said in a statement.
"We are grateful to the people and the Government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase," the executive producers continued.
"The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff called the news a "really exciting opportunity" for the city.
"This production will support Auckland’s world-class screen businesses to grow, create jobs and provide an immense boost to our regional and national economy," Goff said in a statement,
"We already have a billion-dollar screen industry and being the main production base for Amazon’s new TV series will take it to a new level."
Amazon Studios confirmed that pre-production is already underway for the series, which will explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring narrative.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said the details around budget, crew size and production plans are yet to be defined, but the scale of the series is likely to be unprecedented for New Zealand.