The Lord of the Rings TV show adds new director as behind the scenes image released

Lord of the Rings
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Wayne Che Yip has joined The Lord of the Rings TV show as both a co-executive producer and director. He joins a creative team that includes J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls), who directed the series’s first two episodes. Yip is set to direct four episodes. 

J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will develop the Lord of the Rings TV show, which is described as an “epic drama” set in the Second Age of Middle-earth – thousands of years before the Lord of the Rings films and the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien on which they were based. 

The Amazon Studios produced show will follow a huge ensemble of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil on their continent. The show will take viewers from the depths of the Misty Mountains to the forests of elf-capital Lindon to the stunning island kingdom of Númeno and beyond.

Yip is no newcomer to working behind the camera – his directing credits include episodes of Hunters, Preacher, Utopia, Doctor Who, and the upcoming Amazon fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. 

The Lord of the Rings will be the most expensive project Yip has been attached to. In November 2017, Amazon purchased the television rights to The Lord of the Rings for nearly $250 million. As a result, the studio made a five-season production commitment worth around $1 billion. Given this commitment, the Amazon Original is making history as the most expensive TV series ever mounted.

Payne and McKay serve as showrunners and executive producers for the series. Their fellow EPs include Bayona, Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, with Christopher Newman on board as producer.

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Although development on the series kicked off way back in 2017,  production didn’t start until February 2020 in Auckland but was put on hold due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Production started back up again this past September and is still going strong – as you can see in the above behind-the-scenes photo shared on The Lord of the Rings on Prime Twitter account. 

The eight-episode season is expected to launch on Prime Video this year, with a second already ordered. There are reports regarding the streamer trying for a December 2021 release date, but there is no further confirmation if that still holds up. For now, you can check out the best shows on Amazon Prime

Stephanie is a comic book historian and pop culture critic for publications including SYFYFANGRRLS, Marvel, The A.V. Club, Nerdist, Den of Geek, and Rotten Tomatoes. Stephanie is also a comic creator with three ongoing webcomics, Parenthood Activate!, But What If Though?, and Living Heroes. She made her Marvel debut with a short story featuring Monica Rambeau in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy. She recently made her DC Comics debut in Wonder Woman Black and Gold #2 and is co-writing the Nubia and the Amazons miniseries.