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Elijah Wood Weighs In On Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Series And The Second Age Setting - Exclusive

Incredibly, we're still one year out from the premiere of Amazon Prime Video's new streaming series based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, specifically the appendices of the British author's masterwork, "The Lord of the Rings," along with certain material from his companion book, "The Silmarillion."

While the project has been largely cloaked in secrecy, we do know that it's costing Amazon hundreds of millions to make — perhaps as much as $1 billion — and that it's set in the Second Age, a period of Middle-earth history thousands of years prior to the events of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." The series will almost certainly chronicle events that lead to the final alliance between Elves and Men against the evil Sauron, utilizing characters and settings never before seen in a Tolkien-based project.

With a massive fictional canvas (there is much of Tolkien's fairly extensive Middle-earth history from which to draw upon), a massive cast and vast creative and financial resources at its disposal, the yet-to-be-titled series is sure to command tremendous attention when it launches in September 2022.

One person who is very eager to see it is Elijah Wood, who starred as ring-bearer Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy nearly 20 years ago. "It certainly does give them more creative freedom," Wood tells Looper about the show's Second Age setting. "I'm really excited to see what they've done."

Wood says there's much more to adapt from Tolkien's work

While Tolkien did create an extensive and detailed history for Middle-earth, Elijah Wood says that there's much more fertile creative ground to be found in the Second Age. "I think there's only so much more story to tell that would have included any of the characters from 'Lord of the Rings,'" he remarks. "I don't know that there would have been anything that would have sustained. So it's sort of the logical place to take it, in terms of what other story to mine, and the Second Age is rife with so much."

Even though the show will likely introduce a large amount of characters and settings and scenarios not seen in the previous trilogies, Wood doesn't think that showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay want to distance their show from Peter Jackson's films.

"From a strategic standpoint, I don't know that it was so much about making something that didn't have to adhere or dovetail into what Peter and all of us had established," he says. "It certainly does give them more creative freedom, but with the fact that they shot the first season in New Zealand, there was clearly an intent to keep it in at least the landscapes in accordance with what had previously been established, which is awesome." 

Wood, whose latest film, "No Man of God," is out now, says that, above all, he's looking forward to watching a "Lord of the Rings" project that he can enjoy purely as a fan.

"I'm really curious what the focus of the storytelling is going to be and what it's going to be like. I get the benefit at this stage to enjoy something with full objectivity as a fan, which is rad."