Amazon has confirmed that Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Impossible) will direct the first two episodes of its upcoming Prime Video series based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
The director’s first feature film, The Orphanage won seven Goya Awards in Spain, including best new director, and his Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide.
Bayona also directed The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and Felicity Jones, as well as the first two episodes of Showtime’s hit series Penny Dreadful.
“J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team,” said Bayona.
“I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”
Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said: “The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for The Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén.
“We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.”
“We are thrilled to have J.A. and Belen joining the fellowship as we continue to develop this epic series,” said series writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay.
“We have been great admirers of J.A.’s work for years, and know that his epic, cinematic, and deeply heartfelt aesthetic is the perfect sensibility to bring Middle-earth to life anew.”