AceShowbiz - Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings" TV series is slowly moving forward. During the network's panel at Television Critics Association press tour, Amazon announces that two writers have been attached on the project.
"Star Trek 4" writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay will be penning the script for the new series based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. "The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity," said Payne and McKay in a joint statement. "We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew."
"We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care -- it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime," they added. In addition to writing, Payne and McKay will help develop the project.
The pair recently worked on "Star Trek 4" alongside J.J. Abrams. Their other credits include "Jungle Cruise" and "Escape", the latter of which is a collaboration with Academy Award nominee Mike De Luca. According to Deadline, Abrams was one of high-profile filmmakers and producers who recommended Payne and McKay for "The Lord of the Rings" TV adaptation gig.
First announced last November, the series is set in Middle Earth and will explore stories that precede the events of "The Fellowship of the Ring." It's said that the series may film on the set of Peter Jackson's movies in New Zealand. While Jackson denies his involvement in the series, words are potential involvement is currently being discussed.
Amazon previously announced a multi-season production commitment of the series, marking it as one of the network's biggest projects yet. The streaming service spent around $250 million for the rights to the popular franchise, while the production reportedly costs around $500 million. Amazon Studios will produce alongside the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
" 'The Lord of the Rings' is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen," Sharon Tal Yguado, head of Scripted Series of Amazon Studios, said previously. "We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking 'The Lord of the Rings' fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth."