Pre-production had already started and production on the series would begin in the city of Auckland over the coming months. In addition, Amazon Studios said it had found a great location with world-class sets and skilled staff.
"As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains," showrunners and executive producers J D Payne and Patrick McKay wrote in a statement.
However, Amazon would not reveal the extent of its plans for the series, declining to say how much it will spend, how many seasons the show will run, or when it will debut.
New Zealand's Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford remarked, welcoming the news, "It's a hugely significant piece of popular culture. And it now has a special place in New Zealanders’ hearts as well. We are part of Middle-earth.”
Furthermore, the series will be eligible for a 20% screen grant rebate that will be funded by taxpayers. The conservative lobby group Taxpayers' Union commented that the rebate meant every New Zealand household could end up paying more than $100.
"Who would seriously name Amazon as the most deserving recipient of our hard-earned tax dollars?" the group said. But Twyford replied: "This is not a charity issue. This is about bringing jobs, investment, and economic development to New Zealand."
The series will be based on the fantasy novels by JRR Tolkien. Amazon said it would explore new story lines that precede ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.