Amazon picking up its Lord of the Rings series was as transparent a grab as one could imagine for the vacuum left by the wildly successful Game of Thrones.
But Tolkien fans are up in arms following rumours that the billion-dollar show could be rather raunchier than the source material.
Tolkien site TheOneRing has picked up on a number of casting call and crew-member additions to the series, which, like Peter Jackson’s LOTR movies, is being filmed in New Zealand.
Read more: LOTR series resumes filming
Firstly, there is a casting call from Kiwi agency BGT, which is seeking ‘talent who are comfortable with partial or full nudity’ for background roles.
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The reference for the job in question is ‘JAZZ’, which TheOneRing reckons has been used as a codename for the production in other casting calls.
“We are after all shapes, sizes and uniquely beautiful looks,” it goes on, suggesting that group nudity could even be on the table.
In addition, TheOneRing notes that the production has hired Jennifer Ward-Lealand, who is an experienced ‘intimacy co-ordinator’, who would be the liaison for sex or nude scenes.
All this has gone down very badly indeed with Tolkien fans who both object to the potential for sexual content in the adaptation, and also that they appear to be being lumped in with the seemingly sex-crazed Game of Thrones fandom.
Many have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns.
I don’t like this. Mind you I’m all for graphic content… But not Lord of the Rings. We had Game of Thrones to scratch that itch. We don’t need graphic content anywhere near Tolkien.
— 🦴Nerdcore Creepy Bone Daddy 🦴 (@NerdxCorexCreep) October 6, 2020
The reason the original 3 Lord of the rings movies were so successful were because they didn’t have pointless nudity or sex in them. That type of shit doesn’t fit in Tolkien’s world. If amazon does this they are making a big mistake
— Alex Savage (@AlexSavage3) October 6, 2020
Nope. This is not the spirit of LOTR.
I loved GoT, but this is not Tolkien.
— Kevin Risatti (@KaN_Rizzo) October 6, 2020
Lord of the Rings was a largely sexless endeavour in both Jackson’s adaptation and in Tolkien’s text, though the Amazon series is taking place during a different – and it would seem sexier – era of Middle Earth.
The series has just recently resumed filming, after a hiatus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which was quickly locked down in New Zealand.
Read more: Will Poulter drops out of LOTR series
Based on material granted by the Tolkien estate, the show has been approved for five-seasons, with a $250 million-per-season budget in place.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
It’s set in the period prior to the story of Lord of the Rings, in the ‘second age’ of Middle Earth.
British actors Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur and Nazanin Boniadi are among those heading up the cast.
Yahoo has contacted Amazon for a response.
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