Amazon StudiosThe Lord of the Rings series has taken a step further into development, having hired Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s J.A. Bayona as director for the first two episodes of the series.

Set in Middle-earth, the series will explore new and different storylines which precede those of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.

Bayona said of the project, “J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor [sic] and a joy to join this amazing team. 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.”

The director will also executive produce with his producing partner Belén Atienza. The series is to be written by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who said of the hire, “We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belén joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series. We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.”

“The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén. We are all excited for them to join our writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”

More on Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series when we have it.

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