Amazon's upcoming TV series, The Lord of the Rings: The Second Age*, has acquired its first director.
J.A. Bayona will direct the first two episodes of the series. Spanish director Bayona won critical acclaim for his movies The Orphanage (2007), The Impossible (2012) and A Monster Calls (2016). He also directed the first two episodes of Penny Dreadful in 2014. More recently, he directed Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom (2018).
Gennifer Hutchison has also been added to the writers' room. Hutchison is best-known for writing five episodes of Breaking Bad and eight of its spin-off show, Better Call Saul. She was also on the production staff of The Strain.
The series will start production next month in Auckland, New Zealand. Peter Jackson's six previous Middle-earth movies were shot in New Zealand, but it looked like the new series was going to move filming to Scotland after positive discussions there. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacina Ardern made a personal telephone call to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, to secure the deal for New Zealand instead, although it remains possible there will be a small amount of filming in Scotland.
* possibly not the final title