Amazon’s Jeff Bezos seems to be really hoping that his streaming service’s forthcoming Lord of the Rings original series can match Game of Thrones in terms of fantasy hype. Now, thanks to Deadline, we know the person who will be in the director’s chair for the first couple of episodes of this Bezos-beloved project: Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona.
Bayona’s last directorial credit is Hollywood blockbuster Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, the most recent attempt to squeeze some more entertainment juice from the dinosaur film franchise. Before that, however, Bayona directed the critically acclaimed Spanish language film The Orphanage, as well as The Impossible and others.
Bayona will direct the first two episodes of the Amazon Studios Lord of the Rings project, which will take place before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book by J.R.R. Tolkien in the trilogy upon which the Peter Jackson feature films were based. Like the movies, Amazon’s show will be shot in New Zealand.
Bayona joins feature film writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay on the list of big-screen talent that will help try to ensure that Amazon’s series feels sufficiently epic.