Amazon TCA Roundup: 'Lord of the Rings' Set Creatives, 'Banker's Wife,' First Look Deals for Connie Britton & More
The Television Crititcs Association Summer 2019 Press Tour is in full swing with more and more announcements being made each hour, and Amazon is no exception.
The streaming platform had a lot to reveal during their presentation including first look deals, new series and updates on highly-anticipated projects. Below we're rounding up some of the biggest news that fans need to know about the announcements including new information about the Lord of the Rings series.
Middle Earth Gets Creative
The exciting Lord of the Rings series is beginning to take shape as Amazon revealed the show's creative team. For the show set in Middle Earth, telling stories that precede J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay along with directors and executive producers J.A. Bayona and Belen Atienza will be joined by a hefty crew.
Announced July 27 were the addition of executive producers Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly and Sharon Tal Yguado with writer/executive producers Gennifer Hutchinson, Jason Cahill, Justin Doble, consulting producers Bryan Cogman and Stephany Folsom as well as producer Ron Ames, writer/co-producer Helen Shang and writing consultant Glenise Mullins.
Also joining the team are designer Kate Hawley, production designer Rick Heinrichs, visual effects supervisor Jason Smith, Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and illustrator/concept artist John Howe. Among some of the past projects that these creatives have worked on include The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire.
"This team is our Fellowship – assembled from around the world, all walking the road together to try and accomplish something far greater than any of us could do on our own," McKay and Payne said in a statement. "We feel humbled and extremely lucky to be surrounded by such inspiring and talented women and men."
The Banker's Wife Gets a Green Light
Amazon also announced a green light for the trillerr series The Banker's Wife based on Cristina Alger's best-selling novel. The Banker's Wife will be eight episodes and written and directed by Homeland's Meredith Stiehm and Lesli Linka Glatter.
"As soon as we read The Banker's Wife, we knew this would be a series that our Amazon Prime Video customers will love, a fast-paced, compelling story that pulls you in immediately," said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. "We're thrilled to be working with Meredith and Lesli to bring their vision to the screen."
The book published in 2018 tells the story of two women who are searching for answers following a plane crash, and in their quest for truth, they find themselves thrust into the world of global finance. When they uncover offshore accounts that were supposed to stay hidden, the ladies find themselves at the center of a conspiracy involving money laundering, politicians and a network of terrorists and criminals.
Ladies First Look Deals
Amazon has announced first look deals with three of Hollywood's leading ladies, Connie Britton, Lena Waithe and Blake Lively. All of them will be working on projects for Amazon exclusively in the coming months.
Britton signed on to develop a series that will premiere on the platform exclusively in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. "I'm thrilled to be joining Jen and the team at Amazon, and my hope is to contribute thoughtful, provocative, female driven and inclusive programming to their exceptional platform, telling stories that will reflect ourselves back to ourselves in ways we've never seen before," Britton said. "I know this will be an exciting and purposeful collaboration."
Waithe also joins the fray with her own overall deal. The writer, creator, producer and actor will produce the upcoming Amazon original horror anthology series THEM and will work to create and produce original series which will premiere exclusively on Amazon.
"I couldn't be more excited about this new partnership with Amazon Studios and am looking forward to this next chapter," Waithe said in a statement. "Both of our goals are aligned in that we want to continue elevating storytellers who are underrepresented and have a unique vision of the world."
Blake Lively joins Britton and Waithe as a new member of the Amazon team, the former Gossip Girl star is developing a few projects for the streamer including a New York set series with a fashion component according to Deadline.
After the Emmy buzz around Fleabag's second season, it's no surprise that Amazon would want more of the Phoebe Waller-Bridge series which the writer claimed was over. According to Deadline, Amazon Studio head Jennifer Salke said, "I dream of that wiggle room," when it comes to a possible third season.
"I'm basically her stalker," Salke joked. "Anything Phoebe wants to do, nothing would make us happier to bring another season of her show. Anything she wants to do. I'm forever the optimist."