Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

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Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Otaku-sempai » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:35 pm

Amazon has announced that the team of JD Payne and Patrick McKay are in place to develop Amazon's original series set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth preceding the events of The Fellowship of the Ring.
Writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay have been working together since meeting on the high school debate team more than two decades ago. Their most recent projects include writing Star Trek 4 for Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams, adapting Jungle Cruise for Disney and stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, and setting up their original, 2017 Blacklist drama script Escape with Academy Award-nominated producer Mike DeLuca.


An article at The Hollywood Reporter has pretty much the same information.
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:34 am

I know they have some science fiction background but is there any indication that they have any knowledge of Tolkien at all?
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Otaku-sempai » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:00 am

it might be helpful to note that Nellie Andreeva at Deadline describes Payne and McKay as the lead writers for the Amazon series, not as showrunners.
With the search for lead writers completed, the development of the series is moving to the next stage with the set up of . writers room to collaborate on Payne and McKay’s vision. It is unclear yet — but possible — that any of the other writers who made it to the short list for the gig would be invited and that the project would bring in a showrunner.

“We are really excited to move right into the next phase of the development process, which is building the world,” Salke said during the Amazon executive panel.


Up until now the pair have worked primarily as script doctors though they do seem to be responsible for the screenplay for the upcoming Star Trek 4. This interview from 2014 mostly discusses their experiences with Star Trek but there is a little about their early writing. A script they wrote called Midas seems to have been their big break:
J.D. Payne: Well, throughout our twenties, we wrote basically one screenplay a year – we wrote about seven or eight of them before we even got agency representation.

We tried our hands at a bunch of different genres, some of those indie, navel-gazing type of comedies, some period epics – you know, ‘love and loss in the time of revolution’ – we were all over the map, basically. We found that where we really came together in terms of our visions and talents were these big, big summer movies that also have a good amount of heart and emotion.

Around 2008, we were in this sort of conundrum where the things that the market was responding to most were these pre-branded things in the public domain; stuff that people already had awareness of. So we took the story of King Midas and did sort of a big origin story – kind of the Batman Begins version of King Midas, if you will.

Up until this point, it had been a fairly uncomplicated morality tale, but we were interested in seeing what would happen if we were to take that and make it into a sort of really cool, grounded, emotionally-epic kind of a movie? So we took it and turned into this big, dark, interesting epic story.
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:14 am

In other words, no, there is no evidence that they have an knowledge or appreciation of Tolkien's work.
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Otaku-sempai » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:36 am

Well, they (like many of us) are life-long geeks. So they might have an appreciation for Tolkien and his legendarium. Let's stay positive while we can.
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:31 pm

One would think that if there was any evidence of that, Amazon would be quick to point it out.

But we'll see. My expectations are so low that I could easily be pleasantly surprised (as happened almost 17 years ago).
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Rumor: Amazon's 'LotR' series is expected to return to NZ

Postby Otaku-sempai » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:13 pm

Geeks WorldWide reports:
Omega Underground has a production update concerning Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series as Amazon are now eyeing a return to New Zealand, which was the production location of all six previous Middle-Earth movies.

Nothing says any deal has been made with Weta Workshop or Peter Jackson, but it does give the impression they understand New Zealand needs to be part of the production.


This makes a certain amount of sense considering the pre-existing locations and sets that could be utilized in New Zealand. It is also possible that the production could film in other locations in addition to New Zealand.
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Re: Amazon's Middle-earth Series News and Speculation Thread

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:18 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:Geeks WorldWide reports:
Omega Underground has a production update concerning Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series as Amazon are now eyeing a return to New Zealand, which was the production location of all six previous Middle-Earth movies.

Nothing says any deal has been made with Weta Workshop or Peter Jackson, but it does give the impression they understand New Zealand needs to be part of the production.


That makes me happy! Even if it is only speculation, they do know how to make us a little more hopeful! [a little; still not entirely sold. Maybe when the news comes out that Cate Blanchett will be Galadriel, Ian McKellan will play Gandalf, and the rest of the cast will also appear in cameos: though I reckon that Elijah Wood could STILL play Frodo] :lol:
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