Ready to read a lot of names, most of which you won’t recognize? Amazon has announced 20 new cast members joining its epic Lord of the Rings television series. The heavy hitters in this casting dump are Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Power, Spartacus), Benjamin Walker (Heart of the Sea), and Peter Mullan (Westworld). There’s no word on who they will be playing in the show, which is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth as a distant prequel to The Fellowship of the Ring and technically not connected to the films.
The rest of the announced cast, which are sure to be rounding out elves and dwarves and other secondary humans are a list of “I know that guy/gal” actors: Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Ian Blackburn (Unbreakable Beau), Kip Chapman (Top of the Lake), Anthony Crum (The Wilds), Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce), Trystan Gravelle (The Terror), Sir Lenny Henry (famed British comedian; Broadchurch), Thusitha Jayasundera (Donmar), Fabian McCallum (You, Me & The Apocalypse), Simon Merrells (Knightfall), Geoff Morrell (Grassroots), Lloyd Owen (Apollo 18), Augustus Prew (Into the Dark), Peter Tait (The Return of the King), Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich), Leon Wadham (Go Girls), and Sara Zwangobani (Doctor Doctor). The only thing to note here really is that Peter Tait played a Black Uruk named Shagrat in The Return of the King, but he probably isn’t reprising that role.
“The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is epic, diverse, and filled with heart,” said J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, series executive producers/showrunners. “These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multi-year search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world to life anew. The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family. We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”
It’s not completely clear when we’ll see these actors, either. The show has already been renewed for a second season, so many of them could be playing characters that don’t show up until then. Shooting for the series was supposed to begin a while ago with the previously announced cast members, but COVID-19 stopped that. The production crew was planning to film the first two episodes before taking a break for the seasons to change and writing the second season during that break. That didn’t happen, of course, but Amazon is definitely committed to creating the series, which it hopes will be its Game of Thrones… but with a good ending. The series has begun filming.