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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon TV series’

Tom Shippey is out at Amazon?

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

#FidelityToTolkien now in flux?

Renown Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey is off the Lord of the Rings project, according to twitch broadcaster Tolkien Professor, confirming our early reports from March.

In a recent live stream from the Tolkien Professor – who we suggest watching & subscribing – Cory Olsen stumbles for words as he responds to a chat question about the status of his colleague Tom Shippey on Amazon’s LOTR series.

Olsen runs Signum University, the preeminent Tolkien scholar event series that travels the world bringing thoughtful, intelligent dialog to the world & works of J.R.R. Tolkien. His weekly LOTR streams have a dedicated audience that counts Stephen Colbert as an avid fan.

“I have spoken to Shippey… is he still involved? I don’t believe so.”

Cory Olsen, the Tolkien Professor
Forward to minute 43:00 for a reluctant confirmation

The early rumors of Shippey’s status set the community ablaze, with both reddit threads and YouTube comments becoming hotbeds of debate. On an early March episode of TORn Tuesday, it was revealed that none of the writers were currently engaged on the production and that the latest rumor was Tom Shippey was off the project. See TORn Veteran Quickbeam’s reaction starting 16:00 minutes into the show:

Shippey conversation starts at 16 minutes in.

Fans hopes & concerns were calmed in 2019 when Amazon released a video that includes Tom Shippey in the creative team behind its billion-dollar LOTR series. Out of all the extremely talented people involved, Shippey brought a sense of authority and respect for Tolkien alongside artist John Howe. For many fans, Shippey is the iron rock that will ensure Amazon maintains fidelity to Tolkien — keeping the green showrunners in check with a focus on Tolkien’s intent. With his involvement diminished, Amazon risks alienating core fans and losing credibility among the show’s biggest champions.

Neither Amazon nor Shippey has publicly commented on the current status of their relationship. With the Tolkien Professor independently hearing the same things TORn Tuesday is hearing, there must be some truth in the air.

Tell us your thoughts! Are you concerned? Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter (@theoneringnet) to share your opinion!

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Gaming, Lord of the Rings

Maxim Baldry added to cast of Amazon Middle-earth series

Maxim Baldry, Courtesy of Collider

Collider announced earlier today that 23 year-old British actor Maxim Baldry “has landed a significant role” in the upcoming Amazon Middle-earth TV series. Baldry is perhaps best known so far for his role in the 2019 BBC/HBO joint production series Years and Years. According to Collider: “Character details are being kept under wraps along with plot details.” While that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, ok almost nothing to go on, we do know that the new series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which narrows down, if only slightly, what “significant role” might imply.

(more…) Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized

Breaking down the Amazon creative team video

This is a follow up to the story announcing Amazon’s release of the LOTR series creative team (see link below), with a breakdown on what this announcement means for the future of the show. Afterwards, there will be a ‘reaction’ story from a Tom Shippey interview that occurred on the same day as the video was released. 

Middle-earth map courtesy of LOTR on Prime

Justin, the producer of our TORn Tuesday live streaming series breaks down the Amazon creative team announcement:

“This Creative Team has something for everyone that it almost feels generated by an algorithm to appeal so perfectly to all fan groups. Howe & Shippey lock in the core book, art & film fans. 

Amazon got what it explicitly wanted day one — the next Game of Thrones — with 2 of the key people from HBO’s Thrones now on LOTR. Amazon is also following in the (successful) footsteps of Thrones by handing the show to a couple guys who have never produced anything, similar to HBO letting Benioff & Weiss run Thrones with zero producing experience. 

JA Bayona is an inspired choice as he is Guillermo del Toro’s protege in dark storytelling. GDT financed Bayona’s first few projects and helped put Bayona on the map. With Amazon, fans may finally get something akin to what The Hobbit was shaping up to be under del Toro. Some Weta folk felt that the costume & prosthetic orc work they did under Guillermo del Toro was the best the workshop had ever done, so it would be wonderful to bring forth some of that practical creativity under GDT’s heir apparent Juan Antonio Bayona.

“Peak TV” fans will appreciate the writers room of people who wrote some of the best episodes of Westworld, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Hannibal. Those are all somewhat dark & twisted fantasies which LOTR second age also is. 

Amazon’s corporate development team along with this LOTR writers room and production team is probably the most diverse multi-lingual creative group ever to work in Middle-earth. Tolkien wrote that LOTR is “fundamentally linguistic in inspiration… “ so it is wonderful to have a global group of filmmakers bringing in the next chapter of Tolkien’s legacy.”

Author Tom Shippey

Shortly after the video was released by Amazon, Tom Shippey did an exclusive interview with the folks at Tolkien Gesellschaft and he let a few very interesting tidbits out of the bag. 

Shippey confirms this map is from the Second Age, but then also admits we don’t know a lot of detail about the Second Age, and that the end of the Second Age on a map looks much like the beginning of the Third Age. Of course, with Numenor on the Map, that puts us closer to the early or middle part of the Second Age. He stresses that you have to be clear where in Middle-earth history  the story will begin so that it matches what this map is hinting at. 

Another really important fact is that Shippey clears up a lot about what sort of filming rights Amazon has, and how much freedom they do and don’t have when filling in the empty spots in their stories. Amazon must follow the history that Tolkien did write, such as Sauron invading Eriador, being forced back by a Numenorean force, his return to Numenor and seducing them to break the ban with the Valar. So, they have a road map, but they get to choose the route and fill in all the things seen and encountered on that road. 

Shippey doesn’t know much detail on when and where filming will begin, but we previously announced that New Zealand looks to be where the bulk of filming will be. He also mentioned that a Brian Miller was supposed to be the overall director, but since he didn’t feature in the video he surmises that things changed. It is interesting that Shippey seems to share our desire that more news was forthcoming. Yes, all these little teases arouse curiosity, but sooner or later you have to satisfy that curiosity. 

Read the article to learn more details from Tom Shippey. 

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

Amazon Prime’s new map welcomes us to the Second Age

Courtesy of Amazon

Earlier today, Amazon Prime revealed yet another map of Middle-earth, along with text completing the Ring Verse, then the words: Welcome to the Second Age. True to those words, the new map reveals Numenor, which sunk beneath the ocean near the end of the Second Age. This confirms one thing at least, that Amazon’s film right extend beyond what’s between the covers of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ as the only map of Numenor in Tolkien’s works appears in ‘Unfinished Tales.’ Other than that, the possibilities for the direction(s) the story will take us are almost endless both with respect to Numenor, and what was happening in Middle-earth at the time. Take a good look at the map and read on!

(more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien