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Amazon Has The Craziest System For Keeping Its Lord Of The Rings Series A Secret

Amazon's highly anticipated upcoming Middle-earth project has been the talk of the town for years now. The impending undertaking has been soaking up headlines ever since news broke back in 2017 that the studio had bought the rights to part of Tolkien's creation for a staggering sum. While everyone and their mother may be talking about the project, though, when you break it down, they don't have much to talk about. Little hints have been dropped here and there, but very little has actually been confirmed apart from a brief leaked synopsis and the occasional set picture — which doesn't even count now, as we're about to find out.

With so little to talk about, many of the juiciest pieces of trivia surrounding the series have revolved around the fact that it's been kept such a high-profile secret. Considering the size of the project, it's pretty impressive how tight a lid Amazon Studios has managed to keep on things.

The ongoing mystery comes as no surprise when one considers the lengths to which Amazon has been going to keep any and all information under lock and key. Years ago, Amazon head honcho Jennifer Salke reported that, even at that early stage in the production process, they were taking no chances. She explained that the writers' room had an incredible clearance procedure that included taped-down windows and fingerprint scanners.

While the showrunner's room was wild enough, a recent rumor seems to imply that the secrecy and misdirection have carried on throughout the production of the show's first two seasons. On July 20th, 2021, the popular fan site TheOneRing.net leaked a massive Spy Report info dump with the respected publication claiming that "We have been able to verify most of today's report as currently accurate per sources that are involved with the Production."

What the Spy Report says about the production's secrecy

The Spy Report posted by TheOneRing.net includes a smorgasbord of desperately sought-after goodies that should only help to stoke fans' excitement as they look forward to the targeted 2022 release date (and yes, that was in there too.) But the leak also included a couple of juicy tidbits regarding how the powers that be over at Amazon are keeping the whole thing so well buttoned-up.

First off, it dropped the not-surprising fact that "scripts are only digitally shared among actors and crew" adding that the permission sharing on the documents is overseen by "draconian control mechanisms." Okay, that one makes sense. After all, scripts are a pretty big deal. You don't want them falling into the hands of, say, an online entertainment publication where critical story facts can be leaked ahead of time.

But then the report went further to break down the fact that Amazon has also gone through the trouble to actually set up real-life dummy sets. Per the report, "There is a fake production team shooting decoy footage on fake sets unrelated to the real Production."

That's right. If the report is true, Amazon is literally going around New Zealand filming nonsense footage just to throw any suspicious mischief-makers off the scent of the real deal. This puts a question mark on everything from on-set photos to filming locations, actor interviews — you name it. No one really knows what is going on behind the scenes with this one. Based on the way fellow Amazon show "The Wheel of Time" is crawling along — not to mention its intense lack of promotional material — it's a fair guess that we won't get much more show info, let alone official footage, for a while to come. Oh well. Looks like it's finally time to reread the trilogy, skim through "The Hobbit" once more, and finally tackle "The Silmarillion" in preparation for the good times ahead.