‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Director Didn’t Pull From Peter Jackson Movies as Inspiration

Amazon‘s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is taking viewers back to a new era of Middle Earth. While many fans will be comparing this series to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, the director is not trying to recreate the world from the movies. Director J.A. Bayona says he drew most of his inspiration from the J. R. R. Tolkien books, not the Peter Jackson movies. 

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series is a prequel to the main storyline

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series on Amazon
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel | Matt Grace/ Prime Video

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a new series coming to Amazon that works as a prequel to the main events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The series is set thousands of years before these events and begins in a time of peace in Middle Earth. The series will cover various events, including the forging of the Rings of Power and the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron. 

Peter Jackson has been responsible for adapting Tolkien’s works to the big screen. The Lord of the Rings is still considered one of the greatest movie trilogies ever made. However, the director is not involved in The Rings of Power, meaning a new creative team will bring Middle Earth to life. 

J.A. Bayona did not use Peter Jackson’s movies as inspiration for the new series

In an interview with Collider, Bayona discussed his inspiration behind what he wanted The Rings of Power to look like. He said he did not use Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies as an influence for the series. Instead, he took a deep dive into Tolkien’s novels to capture the author’s vision as best as possible. 

“You know what, when I think about the Peter Jackson movies, the thing I love and the thing that I admire the most is how great he was in capturing Tolkien’s spirit,” Bayona said. “So at the end, it’s all about going to the source material and go to the books. So this is what I did. I went back to the books, I read them again, and everything is in there. You can tell how cinematic Tolkien was when, the way he portrays the landscape reflects the mood of the characters. That’s the kind of style that I love. When I shoot a movie, I try all the time to enhance the story with visual elements and that sense of beauty.”

“For example, from the very beginning, I knew that the cinematographer I always work with was perfect because he loves beauty as much as you can see when you read Tolkien’s books,” Bayona added. “And from the moment you choose the cinematographer, that you are defining the style of the show. So basically, it was going back to the, to the books and try to understand them and how they will translate visually. And exactly, as you said, it’s a very different time period. So you really need to go back to those places, but you will see them in a very different way.”

Bayona shares his favorite moment from the movies

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While Bayona did not use Jackson’s movies as inspiration, he does have respect for them and shared his favorite moment with Collider. The director shared his favorite moment comes at the end of Return of the King when the kingdom bows to the hobbits. 

“I think there’s a very beautiful moment when at the end of Return of the King, everybody kneels in front of the hobbits, and the camera kneels in front of them,” Bayona said. “So Peter Jackson, basically what he did is the whole world to knee in front of the hobbits. I think that was beautiful.”

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 2.