Oh, you didn’t think Hollywood had already packed it up for the holiday, did you? Put that sunscreen down because Deadline has some big news for all the Tolkien-heads: Amazon has enlisted J.A. Bayona to direct and executive produce its upcoming The Lord Of The Rings series, based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novels that were—uh, doy—previously adapted into a blockbuster trilogy by Peter Jackson. Bayona, who most recently directed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, will direct the first two episodes of the new series. Although Bayona is only tackling two episodes, his direction will establish the look and feel of the series, which is said to “explore new storylines preceding Tolkien’s The Fellowship Of The Ring.”
In an official statement on his hiring, Bayona had this to say:
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. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.
After making his debut with the acclaimed horror film The Orphanage, Bayona went on to direct The Impossible and A Monster Calls, as well as the first two episodes of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. As such, the filmmaker has quite a bit of experience in world-building and handling stories that unfold on a large scale—which makes him a solid pick for The Lord Of The Rings.