Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is adding more people to its massive cast and crew. Veteran fantasy director Charlotte Brändström is joining the show to direct two episodes, the company announced Thursday.
Brändström has previously directed episodes of shows like The Outsider, Madam Secretary, and Jupiter’s Legacy, as well as fantasy series like Outlander and The Witcher. She joins J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Wayne Che Yip (Preacher), who both directed episodes for the series as well. The Lord of the Rings is currently filming in New Zealand.
While we wait for Amazon to show off any official footage or images from the show, one thing we know for sure is that it costs a lot of money to make. The budget for the first season is $465 million, according to some reports, which would make it the most expensive TV series ever.
During a recent roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke explained why the series costs so much, and why Amazon thinks the price tag is worth it.
“This is a full season of a huge world-building show,” Salke said. “The number is a sexy headline or a crazy headline that’s fun to click on, but that is really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series.”
But while Salke and Amazon may find the price justifiable, the show still has to be a hit to make it all worthwhile. “As for how many people need to watch Lord of the Rings?” she said. “A lot. A giant, global audience needs to show up to it as appointment television, and we are pretty confident that that will happen.”
Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings will take place long before the events of the original trilogy of books that inspired the Peter Jackson movies, or even The Hobbit. The show is set during the Second Age, a time of heroes, but also a time of great evil, when Sauron rose to power and forged the Rings of Power.
Production on The Lord of the Rings started in 2020, and the series seemed set for a 2021 debut. However, Amazon doesn’t have an official release window at the moment, so it’s possible the show might not be ready to premiere until next year.