Amazon Hires Writers for ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series

JD Payne and Patrick McKay / Amazon

After an extensive search, feature writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay have been tapped by Amazon Studios to develop and write the company’s high-profile The Lord of the Rings series, an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, which was brought to life by Peter Jackson in his blockbuster movie franchise.

As Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke previously has suggested, creating the big-scope fantasy drama will involve a writers room. Payne and McKay were selected from a shortlist of scribes considered for the job, most of them from features, in the talent search, overseen by Amazon’s head of genre Sharon Tal Yguado.

Payne and McKay are rising feature writers who recently worked on Star Trek 4 for producer J.J. Abrams. I hear Abrams was one of a number of high-profile filmmakers and producers who recommended the duo for the LOTR job.

With the search for lead writers completed, the development of the series is moving to the next stage with the set up of a writers room to collaborate on Payne and McKay’s vision. It is unclear yet — but possible — that any of the other writers who made it to the short list for the gig would be invited and that the project would bring in a showrunner.

“We are really excited to move right into the next phase of the development process, which is building the world,” Salke said during the Amazon executive panel.

Conversation continue with Jackson about a potential involvement and about possibly filming the series on his sets in New Zealand.

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SOURCE: Deadline, Nellie Andreeva