Warner Bros. and New Line Animation working on the new ‘Lord of the Rings’ anime

Warner Brothers Animation and New Line Animation are working on a new Lord of the Rings anime film that will be released in the theatres. The movie will be called The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, and it will cover the history behind the fortress at Helm’s Deep, whose battle is undoubtedly the best of the entire original trilogy with its exploding walls, shield surfing, and stunning horse stunts. Die-hard LOTR fans will recognize the fortress that serves as the setting for the epic battle at the end of “The Two Towers.” The screenwriters will keep new anime on similar lines as J.R.R Tolkien’s original vision while expanding the story of the legendary King of Rohan.

Veteran anime filmmaker Kenji Kamiyama will direct the film, the screenplay will be provided by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews, and Joseph Chou is the producer. Philippa Boyens, who won an Oscar for the screenplay for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, is consulting on the project and is expected to draw aesthetic and narrative inspiration from the LOTR trilogy. The film is being fast-tracked with animation work done by Sola Entertainment and will be distributed around the globe by Warner Bros. Pictures. The voice casting is currently underway.

Warner Bros. Pictures Group COO Carolyn Blackwood and New Line Cinema president and chief creative officer Richard Brener said, “All of us at New Line feel a deep affinity for the extraordinary world J.R.R. Tolkien created, so the opportunity to dive back into Middle-earth with the team at Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true. Fans know Helm’s Deep as the stage for one of the greatest battles ever put to film and, with many of the same creative visionaries involved and the brilliant Kenji Kamiyama at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to deliver a fresh vision of its history that will invite global audiences to experience the rich, complex saga of Middle-earth in a thrilling new way.”

Amazon, on the other hand, is in the works on its own very expensive LOTR series. However, they do not have the rights to the actual Rings story and its multiple series will be set in a different age of the world that is known as Middle-earth. New Line Cinema returning to LOTR is an excellent deal for the studio, as ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ celebrates its 20th anniversary and the franchise remains the studio’s crown jewel. Overall, the soon-to-be-released anime is a companion piece to New Line’s LOTR trilogy and is set roughly 250 years before that movie during the third age. Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is set roughly 250 years before the events of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and follows the story of Helm Hammerhand.

The initial Rings trilogy grossed $2.9 billion upon initial release and won 17 Oscars out of a total of 30 nominations. Its success continued in many DVD/Blu-ray editions and engendered a Rings tourist trade in New Zealand, where the films were made. It will be interesting to see how well director Kamiyama’s style maps to a medieval fantasy setting since he has mostly tackled futuristic sci-fi projects before, including Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex009 Re: Cyborg, and Netflix’s Ultraman.


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Ashwathi Anoopkumar