Our friend, TheHutt, from the TORn discussion forums recently shared some interesting information from German site IGN.com: Amazon has revealed to them that shooting on the new Middle-earth series will begin in 2019, with the goal to begin airing the first episodes in 2020. The  2020 goal is designed to fill the void Game of Thrones will leave after the final season airs, likely now to be in 2019.

According to IGN, the series will air exclusively on Amazon Prime. Announcements related to the plot and casting will begin sometime in 2018.

If accurate, this news suggests that Amazon may be further down the road than we thought in deciding on which story-line(s) from J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe they’ll follow in the first season. Casting, location scouting, and other pre-production work requires a substantial amount of lead-time, not to mention writing a compelling script. That’s quite a lot to accomplish and still be ready to start shooting in 2019 and airing in 2020. If that’s the case, and they are further along than the initial press releases and reports hinted at, we’ll all be hoping to get more substantial news sooner in 2018 than later. Read the full article IGN article (in German) here