We hope you enjoyed this April Fools’ Day joke for 2023. (Though wouldn’t a LEGO Lord of the Rings be fun…?)
Since it was announced in February of this year that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema had secured a deal with Embracer Group to create more Middle-earth movies, fans have been waiting eagerly to hear what would be the first movie on the slate. (We already know, of course, about The War of the Rohirrim, due April 2024.) As it turns out, the next feature to be set in Tolkien’s realms is not what one might have expected – though it does stay in the world of animation (and of course we did just see the release of the Rivendell LEGO set). We’re thrilled that TORN has been given the exclusive to reveal: Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have announced today that a new Lord of the Rings LEGO movie is set to be released in 2025.
Here’s the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW LINE CINEMA AND WARNER BROS. ANIMATION’S “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: A LEGO ADVENTURE’ ARRIVES IN CINEMAS ON APRIL 1, 2025
The Studio behind the cinematic blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” trilogy returns with an original animated film, bringing the legends of Middle-earth into the world of LEGO
BURBANK, CA, April 1, 2023 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the animated movie ‘The Lord of the Rings: A LEGO Adventure’, from New Line Cinema and in partnership with The LEGO Group, will release in theaters on April 1, 2025.
This whimsical animated adaptation of the beloved, epic tale is set to hit theaters April 2025, bringing together fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary saga and LEGO enthusiasts alike, for an unforgettable journey through Middle-earth as it’s never been seen before.
Esteemed actors Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will both return to their respective roles as Gandalf and Gollum. The all-star voice cast also includes:
Jim Broadbent as Bilbo Baggins, the eccentric and adventurous hobbit who sets the stage for Frodo’s journey
Austin Butler as Frodo Baggins, the courageous and unexpected hero on a quest to save Middle-earth
James D’Arcy as Samwise Gamgee, Frodo’s loyal gardener and self-appointed guardian
Simon Pegg as Meriadoc Brandybuck, the wisest of Frodo’s three Hobbit companions
Nick Frost as Peregrin Took, the youngest of the Hobbits on this quest, mission, thing
Chris Pine as Aragorn, the mighty and charismatic heir to the throne of Gondor
Genevieve O’Reilly as Galadriel, the fierce and fabulous Elven queen, with unmatched power and style
Michael Shannon as Denethor, the troubled steward of Gondor whose descent into madness is as captivating as it is chilling
A playful reimagining of the classic story, ‘The Lord of the Rings: A LEGO Adventure’ comes more than 22 years after the culmination of Sir Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy based on the iconic books by J.R.R. Tolkien. The films are among the most successful and acclaimed of all time, winning seventeen Oscars including eleven for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” tying the record for a single film. This new movie promises to be a blockbuster adventure that captures the heart and spirit of the original story, while adding a touch of humour and creativity that only the world of LEGO can provide.
“With Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis reprising their iconic roles as Gandalf and Gollum, we wanted to sew a thread of familiarity into this particular production,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “At the same time, we wanted to bring new and surprising voices to the other characters to give them a fresh and unique take. We’re confident that this talented group of actors will breathe new life into this classic tale, and we can’t wait for audiences to experience this new journey through Middle-earth.”
Animation work has already begun; more exciting voice casting will be announced imminently. The film will be distributed theatrically worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.
Following yesterday’s initial casting announcement from Warner Bros., Witcher actor Shaun Dooley and Laurence Ubong Williams have revealed their respective roles in the forthcoming feature-length anime, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.
Dooley is set to voice the Dunlending chieftain/Rohirrim lord Freca. Freca is the father of the key antagonist of the story, Wulf. His actions at Edoras lead to a crisis between the Rohirrim and the Dunlending that eventually lead to war.
On Instagram, Williams confirmed that he will voice Helm’s nephew, Fréaláf Hildeson. Similar to Éomer assuming the kingship after Theoden’s death at the Pelennor Fields, Fréaláf eventually becomes king of Rohan after the deaths of Helm and both his sons during the conflict with Wulf.
According to Deadline, Brian Cox is set to perform the English voice role for Helm Hammerhand in Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming anime feature, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.
Helm Hammerhand is described as the protaganist of the tale, but the real surprise is the inclusion of Miranda Otto. Otto will reprise her Éowyn role from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and serve as the film’s narrator.
The story outline given to Deadline is as follows:
The anime feature, directed by Kenji Kamiyama, is set 183 years before the events chronicled in the original trilogy of films. A sudden attack by Wulf, a clever and ruthless Dunlending lord seeking vengeance for the death of his father, forces Helm and his people to make a daring last stand in the ancient stronghold of the Hornburg — a mighty fortress that will later come to be known as Helm’s Deep. Finding herself in an increasingly desperate situation, Hera, the daughter of Helm, must summon the will to lead the resistance against a deadly enemy intent on their total destruction.
Helm’s daughter is not named in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. However, the story describes how relations between Helm and Wulf’s father Freca sour dramatically after Freca attempts to use her as a political pawn. Her ultimate fate is one of the mysteries of the ensuing war.
Warner Bros. Animation has also released a new piece of concept art that appears to show Helm at the gate of his eponymous fortress. It’s reminiscent of this scene during the depths of the Long Winter:
One night men heard the horn blowing, but Helm did not return. In the morning there came a sun-gleam, the first for long days, and they saw a white figure standing still on the Dike, alone, for none of the Dunlendings dared come near. There stood Helm, dead as a stone, but his knees were unbent.
The Lord of the Rings: Appendix A.
The voice ensemble also includes Lorraine Ashbourne (Netflix’s Bridgerton), Yazdan Qafouri (I Came By), Benjamin Wainwright (BBC One’s World on Fire), Laurence Ubong Williams (Gateway), Shaun Dooley (Netflix’s The Witcher), Michael Wildman (Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), Jude Akuwudike (Beasts of No Nation), Bilal Hasna (BBC’s Sparks) and Janine Duvitski (ITV’s Benidorm).
In a spy report for the ages, we’re excited to reveal Amazon is already planning an animated spin off from their Rings of Power series.
Anticipating the success of the show, premiering September 2nd on Prime Video, the creative team at Amazon are working on a children’s cartoon series. Here’s what our inside source told us:
The inspiration for the show came from the opening of The Hobbit, when Bilbo first encounters Gandalf. He remarks that the wizard ‘was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures. Anything from climbing trees to visiting Elves or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores!’ We thought it would be great to hear the stories of the other Hobbits, who had been on adventures with Gandalf in the past.
With this new series, we’re hoping to make ‘Saturday Morning Cartoons’ exciting, educational and fun again, with wholesome entertainment that is both silly, yet meaningful for the whole family. We’re delighted that Sir Lenny Henry, an actor with a well-known pedigree in comedy and family entertainment, has agreed to voice one of the main characters of the show. With such a distinguished performer already on board, we’re hoping to persuade Sir Ian McKellen to voice Gandalf for us. You really can’t have Gandalf without Sir Ian.
There hasn’t been a final title decision yet. ‘Adventure Hobbits’ was our first thought, but because The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, we’re featuring Harfoots in that series. So then we wanted to go with ‘Adventure Harfoots’; but of course the Istari didn’t arrive in Middle-earth until early in the Third Age – so can we blur the lines and have Gandalf and Harfoots together? Then of course there is the additional dilemma about whether it should be ‘Adventure Harfoots’ or ‘Adventure Harfeet’… It’s still a work in progress.
Here at TORn we’re speculating that Amazon may also have wanted to create something to go up against Warner Bros.’ animated Middle-earth tale, The War of the Rohirrim, which is slated for release in April 2024. Now Amazon will have their own animated adventure from Arda. There hasn’t been a cartoon Hobbit since the days of the Rankin/Bass movies; we can’t wait to see the first images from this upcoming show.
Staff from TheOneRing.net will be at Wondercon this weekend in Anaheim and this project is one of many we will be discussing in our Middle-earth! Coming to your TV this Fall presentation. Look for us tonight in room North 200A at 4:30 pm, tickets are still available online and at the door.
According to Variety’s sources, the argument stems from disagreement about whether the studio has met ongoing obligations needed to maintain the long-term license that it has held since the late 1990s.
In a statement to Variety, a Warner Bros. spokeswoman said:
New Line Cinema has maintained the theatrical film rights, both live-action and animated, for over two decades now. We are currently in production on our anime film ‘The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’ and look forward to bringing audiences back to Middle-earth.
As Variety points out, license deals such as this “often involve producers conducting a certain level of development and production activity by pre-determined dates, among other clauses.”
However, it is the Saul Zaetnz Co. (through its subsidiary, Middle-earth Enterprises) that holds the rights to exploit The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit “in movies, video games, merchandising, live events and theme parks.”
Variety adds that this includes limited matching rights should the Tolkien Estate make movies or other content based on two Tolkien books published after his death: The Silmarillion, and The Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth.
The Saul Zaentz Co. also recently announced that it will auction all its Tolkien IP rights. Universal and Warner Bros. are both reported to be interested.
One of the continual questions that has come up since the first announcement of The War of the Rohirrim is whether the Kenji Kamiyama-directed effort will be 2D or 3D.
(To say that many anime aficionados have mixed feelings about the use of full 3D would be somewhat of an understatement.)
Last year, WOTR producer (and now Senior Vice President of Anime and Action Series at Warner Bros.) Jason DeMarco answered on his personal twitter that the film would be in 2D. Yesterday he re-confirmed that the feature-length animation would be 2D — there has been no change of direction.
Some of the confusion (and concern) seems to arise from the involvement of Sola Entertainment. Sola Ent. is the parent company of Sola Digital Arts. It was Sola Digital Arts that animated full-3D works such as Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, Ultraman, and Bladerunner: Black Lotus.
But as one of the editors of longtime anime news source Anime News Network points out on their forums: The War of the Rohirrim “may be being made by a different division of Sola Entertainment, or by a studio outsourced from it. Notably, [the] production studio is listed on Sola’s own website as ‘Sola Entertainment/TBC.'”
DeMarco also reinforced that several alumni from the Peter Jackson films are involved in the production:
Do we have Weta on board? YUP Do we have Philippa Boyens on board? YUP Do we have John Howe on board? YUP DO WE HAVE ALAN FUCKING LEE ON BOARD?? HELL YEAH WE DO