The new series - which will be set in the Middle Earth fantasy world but is not a direct adaptation of Tolkien's work - was mooted to be shot in Scotland.
Talks between Amazon Studios and Creative Scotland reached an advanced stage and location scouts posing as tourists were spotted in the Highlands. It had been hoped a deal would see the proposed five-year shoot to Creative Scotland's planned Leith Studio with scenes filmed on location across the country. But it seems the uncertainty of Brexit has prompted show-runners to take their business elsewhere.
Instead of using the new Leith mega-studio and the backdrop of Scotland's wild Highlands, it has now been officially confirmed they will return the series to New Zealand. New Zealand served as the setting for Peter Jackson's Academy Award-winning trilogy of films which were released 19 years ago.
And it seems the producers of Amazon's new iteration are convinced the fellow island nation - which has often drawn comparisons to Scotland's landscape - can represent Middle Earth once more. Amazon Studios just announced the filming location for its upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel show. And after searching far and wide it settled on New Zealand!
Showrunners and executive producers J. Payne and Patrick McKay released the following statement on the momentous decision:. 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, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff. We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
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. Some fact? Some link between New Zealand and Lord of the Rings?