Count Samwise Gamgee among the first fans of the new Amazon series and cover a classic by JRR Tolkien. Sean Astin, one of the original actors in the award-winning Peter Jackson film The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, said to have seen a LOTR revival coming years ago – and it couldn’t be happier for a new batch of fans to make their very first small-screen trip to Middle-earth.

While the highly anticipated (and apparently very expensive) Amazon series has yet to announce an official start date, Astin nonetheless seems as excited about its potential as any longtime fan. Speaking to recently, Astin said it made sense for The Lord of the Rings to return to pop culture consciousness two decades after Jackson’s film cycle elevated him to touchstone status for an entire generation of moviegoers.

“I think Amazon has been great doing it. I fully predicted in 2002, that it would be in 2020, 2021, that they would restart it,” said Astin, member of the Happy Quartet (with Elijah Wood, alias Frodo; Dominic Monaghan, aka Merry; and Billy Boyd, aka Pippin Took) who anchored the early films. “I was specific about it and people asked me how it could be so sure, and I answered : ‘Because I have this foresight.’ No, because I know that in a generation people want to relive what they love.

Astin has said he has no privileged access to the evolution of the series. But even without a hands-on look at the finished product, he has a Hobbit’s optimism about how Amazon’s new take will connect.

“I’ve always been a big believer in sequels and remakes and especially classics,” Astin explained. “A lot of people think, ‘Why would you want to do a classic again? The good news is that the classic will always remain. So maybe someone will do something interesting, and if it stinks, don’t look at them. But I expect this the Lord of the Rings the adaptation is going to be amazing. It took a long time, really talented people are working on it, and it only helps people remember 20 years ago when we released our version of the Lord of the Rings. So it’s good for everyone when things like that happen.

Fans may be fiercely protective of their precious Tolkien tradition, but Astin’s upbeat outlook could fill the entire county with hope that Amazon’s series – already lit for a second season – will become that of this generation. LOTR history to rule them all. Currently in production in New Zealand, the series is expected to take place before the events of the two The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, exploring the Second Age of Middle-earth, while drawing inspiration from Tolkien’s other writings.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Director JA Bayona is directing both the pilot and the show’s second episode, with Wayne Che Yip (Doctor Who, Hunters) and Charlotte Brändström (The witcher, Jupiter’s legacy) also taking turns early in the director’s chair.

With a sprawling cast including the cast of Robert Aramayo (Game of thrones), Peter Mullan (Westworld), Benjamin Walker (Jessica jones), Owain Arthur (Kingdom), Markella Kavenagh (Gloaming), Nazanin Boniadi (Counterpart), Morfydd Clark (Its dark materials), Joseph Mawle (Game of thrones), Tom Budge (The pacific), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Capturing), and more, the new the Lord of the Rings The series is slated to debut on Amazon Prime at the end of this year or early 2022.

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