Amazon has hired a pair of writers for its upcoming and very expensive Lord of the Rings prequel TV show. The company is bringing on JD Payne and Patrick McKay to write the show. The pair have no previous TV writing credits, but as EW points out, neither did Game of Thrones TV show writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. That seemed to work out pretty OK.
Payne and McKay said in a statement that they are “thrilled” to be working on the Lord of the Rings show for Amazon. “We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care–it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”
They added: “The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity. We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew.”
Payne and McKay have been writing partners since high school when they were on the debate team together. In addition to the Lord of the Rings show, they are writing the upcoming Star Trek 4 and the new Jungle Cruise movie for Disney.
The new Amazon Lord of the Rings show is based on Tolkien’s acclaimed and much-loved novels. Amazon is committed to multiple seasons of the show, which will be produced in partnership with the Tolkien Estate, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.
Little is known about the story for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show, but it’s been confirmed that it’s set in Middle-earth and will “explore new storylines” in the time before The Fellowship of the Ring.
No casting announcements have been made yet, but those details could come soon. Given the timeline, you shouldn’t expect Frodo or Sam to show up, but according to a report, one of the storylines in Season 1 could involve a young Aragorn. Given his age, it’s also possible that Gandalf could show up.
Per the supposed terms of an agreement between Amazon and Lord of the Rings rights-holders, the show must enter production within two years, so Amazon is understandably eager to get things going. Amazon is reportedly spending $1 billion to produce the Lord of the Rings TV show, so it is no small undertaking.