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Amazon brings footage from The Lord of the Rings to the UK

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon Studios has notified the New Zealand government that it will move production of all future seasons of the “Lord of the Rings” TV series to the United Kingdom, the New Zealand government said Friday (local time).

New Zealand’s mountains, meadows and forests are best known for the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movie trilogy, shot by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson in the country.

New Zealand Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash said filming of the multimillion-dollar Amazon epic fantasy series is currently underway in New Zealand, but the studio plans to move future footage to the UK.

“The government was informed of yesterday’s decision,” Nash said in a statement, adding that he was disappointed with the move.

Amazon Studios has stated that post-production work for the first season will continue in New Zealand until June 2022. However, the second season will be filmed in the UK as part of the studio’s strategy to expand production space and strengthen its presence in the UK,” 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 slated to release in September 2022.

Amazon is spending about $465 million on filming the series’ first season, according to the New Zealand government.

Amazon Studios is set to offer five seasons of the show, making it one of the most expensive TV series ever.

Amazon said the first season will be available in more than 240 countries, with new episodes released weekly.

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The epic fantasy plot will take place thousands of years before the events narrated by J.R.R. Tolkien in his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

(Praveen Meno reports)