10:37am PT by Rick Porter
'Lord of the Rings' Series at Amazon Casts Will Poulter in Lead Role
Amazon has found one of the leads for its big-budget Lord of the Rings series.
Will Poulter (Midsommar) will star in the show based on J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels. Details of his role are being kept under wraps. He will join Australian actress Markella Kavenagh, who was the first person to be cast in the project.
Amazon declined comment.
The tech and retail giant acquired rights to LOTR in a $250 million deal that includes a multi-season commitment for the series. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4) are adapting the story, which is set in Middle-Earth's Second Age, before the events of Tolkien's primary trilogy — The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is set to direct the first two episodes and will executive produce along with his producing partner Belén Atienza. Writers Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) and Justin Doble (Stranger Things) are also EPs, as are Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly and former Amazon head of genre Sharon Tal Yguado.
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in August that the creative team has been "working for months" on breaking the first season of the show. Production is slated to begin in 2020.
Once production budgets, casting, writers, producers and visual effects are factored in, the total cost for the LOTR series could reach as high $1 billion.
Poulter's credits also include Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Detroit, The Revenant and the Maze Runner series. He is repped by WME and Hamilton Hodell in the U.K.
Variety first reported the news.