Lord of the Rings holds a special place in millions of fans' hearts and is a shining jewel on the crown of the fantasy genre, which creates a catch-22 for any potential growth in the franchise. The audience is certainly there, but any additions to Lord of The Rings open the door to some skepticism. That’s why the newly announced decision to move filming for Amazon’s spin-off series from New Zealand to the UK is raising some eyebrows, even from Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood. The actor who plays Frodo in the foundation films of the franchise has a simple, yet all encompassing response to the recent announcement.
Lord of the Rings has traditionally been filmed in New Zealand and has been notable for featuring a lot of the country’s beautiful landscapes. Tours are even available there. In fact, Elijah Wood spent a large amount of time there filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy himself, and he has taken to his Twitter to respond to the news that the Lord of the Rings series has finished filming in the traditional country for Season 1 and will move to the UK to film Season 2.
Elijah Wood seems to feel the decision is a mistake, because his response is a simple facepalm emoji. Such a small response never spoke so clearly though, clearly saying “Wow, that’s a huge mistake.” Even though he doesn’t use any real words and is brief, it’s clear he has feelings about the decision.
For me, it also feels like Elijah Wood really speaks for the fans here, too. One commenter just says, “Well, that’s ruined then.” Another commenter makes a joke that the third season will be moved to Malibu. Honestly, that’s such a ridiculous idea that it’s a good basis for my next fever dream.
Another commenter on Elijah Wood’s post actually makes a great point and even earned a response from the actor himself. The fan says that Lord of the Rings is basically synonymous with New Zealand, but that he believes some of the original films were actually filmed in the UK, as well. Wood responds by saying "interiors, yea[h]", noting that only some interior shots were filmed in the UK studio. While that is definitely acceptable, it’s hard to imagine the entire second season of the series will be filmed indoors. The setting will seemingly change, at least somewhat.
It’s hard to imagine Lord of the Rings without New Zealand and without the epic countryside we see throughout the franchise. As impressive as sets can be, I doubt that one can compare to what fans have grown accustomed to with New Zealand portraying Middle Earth, even if the series does have an absurdly massive budget.
Elijah Wood will not be in the Lord of The Rings series, but his opinion on the franchise and the direction they’re going still matters, especially when it lines up with what the fans want. We still have plenty of questions about the upcoming series, but we do know that Season 1 has finished filming and it will at least show off New Zealand - we’ll have to wait until September 2nd of next year to see it though!
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Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside. While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.