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Warner Bros and New Line Announce 'Lord Of The Rings' Animated Movie


This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of the first part of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. In anticipation of this milestone, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Animation have announced that JRR Tolkien's world is to be brought to life in animation for the first time since Ralph Bakshi's 1978 feature.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is set to be a standalone animated feature that will explore and expand the history behind the fortress of Helm's Deep, the location of one of the trilogy's most iconic battles. Specifically, it will depict the life of one of Middle Earth's most legendary figures, the mighty King of Rohan - also known as Helm Hammerhand. Although an original story, it will be inspired by Tolkien's world as depicted in Peter Jackson's LOTR and Hobbit trilogies.

In something of a first for Warner Bros Animation, the film will be a Japanese co-production, with Kenji Kamiyama helming. Kamiyama is an acclaimed director in the anime world, with credits including Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex,  Eden Of The East and the forthcoming Blade Runner: Black Lotus. The screenplay is being written by The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance writers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews. Joseph Chou is the producer and Philippa Boyens-co-writer of the original trilogy and Peter Jackson's creative partner- is on board as a consultant.

Carolyn Blackwood,  Warner Bros' Chief Operating Officer and  new Line's Richard Brener, President and Chief Creative Officer issued a joint statement:

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.

Animation is being produced by Sola Entertainment,  a Japanese studio whose credits include Ghost In The Shell SAC 2045, Blade Runner: Black Lotus and The God Of Highschool. The studio has produced both CG and 2d animation, so it's not quite clear which style this will take.

The War of The Rohirrim is being fast-tracked for a theatrical release. Warner Bros will distribute the film worldwide. Voice casting is currently underway.

This is extremely exciting for anyone who wants to see more animated fantasy films being produced. This promises to be full-blooded high fantasy on a scale we haven't really seen before in animation from a major Studio. The How To Train Your Dragon trilogy is the closest we've come, but even then they are still family films at heart. This has the potential to be something special.