WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon Studios has informed the New Zealand government that it will shift production of all future seasons of the “Lord of the Rings” television series to the UK, the New Zealand government said on Friday (local time).
New Zealand’s mountains, grasslands and forests have become famous with the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” film trilogy shot in the country by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson.
New Zealand’s Minister of Economic Development Stuart Nash said filming of Amazon’s epic multimillion-dollar fantasy series is currently underway in New Zealand, but the studio plans to move future footage to the UK.
“The government was notified of the decision yesterday,” Nash said in a statement. He said he was disappointed with the move.
“Amazon Studios reported that post-production work for season one will continue in New Zealand through June 2022. However, season two will be postponed in line with the studio’s strategy to expand its production space in the UK and strengthen its presence in the UK. Will be filmed as part,” he added.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon Studios reported earlier this month that the TV version of “The Lord of the Rings” is due for release in September 2022.
According to the New Zealand government, Amazon is spending about $465 million on filming the first season of the series.
Amazon Studios is set to run five seasons of the show, making it one of the most expensive TV series ever.
Amazon said the first season would be available in more than 240 countries, with new episodes being released weekly.
The epic fantasy storyline will take place thousands of years before the events described by author JRR Tolkien in his books “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
(Reporting by Praveen Maino)