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Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings show is going on an unexpected journey.

The still-untitled fantasy series won't premiere until September 2022, but Amazon has already announced plans for a second season, and on Thursday, the studio revealed that in 2022, production will be moving from New Zealand to the United Kingdom.

It's a surprising move, especially since New Zealand has been synonymous with Middle-earth ever since Peter Jackson shot his film trilogy there 20 years ago. The first season of Amazon's Lord of the Rings recently completed shooting in New Zealand, and pre-production on the second season is expected to begin in the U.K. in early 2022.

The first season of the show reportedly has a budget of a whopping $465 million, and it was previously reported that the New Zealand government had granted the production a tax rebate of about $114 million USD for filming in the country.

Lord of the Rings
Amazon Prime Video's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'
| Credit: Amazon Studios

Amazon recently shared a first look at the series, which is set during J.R.R. Tolkien's Second Age, an era of Middle-earth history set centuries before the events of Lord of the Rings. Plot details (and potential familiar characters) are still being kept under wraps, but the show is expected to center on the forging of the One Ring and Sauron's initial rise to power.

The series' announced cast includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are serving as showrunners.

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