The fans may be in for a treat for Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV Series. Professor and J.R.R. Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey stated that there might be 20 episodes in the first season.
Shippey, who was recently revealed to be part of the creative team on the series spoke to Deutsche Tolkien about the locations fimling and the possibility of a 20 episode season.
The interview that was translated from German was posted by IGN.
"The exact locations are of course uncertain and it could well be several," Shippey said. "The shooting itself does not take place chronologically, but is oriented towards the locations. Logically, you try to bundle all the scenes that take place in one location and film them so that you have it done and don’t have to return to that place several times. But this also implies that everything has to be clear at the start of filming, you have to know the end. There’s supposed to be 20 episodes for the first season. So until they’ve decided what the end is going to be, they can’t start filming."
Amazon and Tolkien Estate reportedly made a deal of up to five seasons and one spinoff of The Lord of the Rings series, and if true, fans of the fantasy series will be in for a treat.
Recent streaming network shows tend to be around 8-15 episodes, so the potential of a 20-episode season would be pretty big news. Shippey also stated that the show will start airing on 2021, so he didn't think production would start this year - but he wasn't, sure.
Shippey also claims that the series will strictly focus on the Second Age and that "the main shape of the Second Age(As described by J.R.R. Tolkien and Tolkien Estate) is not altered." However, Amazon was given the creative freedom to add new characters and "ask and potentially answer a lot of intriguing questions." Well the Second Age lasted 3,441 years until Sauron was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, so there's plenty of room for more stories.
"Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something, since, as I said, very few details are known about this time span," Shippey explained. "The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same."
"What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it," Shippey finished. "But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain 'tolkienian.'"
The first few episodes of Amazon's Lord of the Rings series will be directed by J.A. Bayona(Jurassic World: Fallen Kingddom) and reports say that Markella Kavenagh was cast for the TV series.
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