With the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring comes New Line Cinema’s announcement of a new prequel entry, The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim. The anime feature is set 250 years before Frodo and the Fellowship embark on the classic adventure to Mount Doom. New Line revealed that the film will detail the life of Helm Hammerhand, King of Rohan, and the bloody origin of Helm’s Deep which was heavily featured in The Two Towers movie.
Taking the reigns of director of The War of Rohirrim is seasoned veteran of anime film and television, Kenji Kamiyama, as director with Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews as the screenwriters. Kamiyama and his animation partners at Sola Entertainment have quite a track record of creating a myriad of companion pieces to large IPs both in and out of the anime world. He has spearheaded titles in the Ghost in the Shell franchise, as well as the Blade Runner series so suffice to say the project’s in good hands behind the drawing board.
The voice cast has yet to be determined, especially considering that proper talent needed to voice Saruman the White, previously played by the late legendary Sir Christopher Lee, who plays a role in Hammerhand’s tale. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have not been signed to be a part of the project as of now but could potentially act as consultants on the anime feature moving forward.
Fans of the Tolkien epics are astounded at the reveals of new projects within the franchise, with the likes of the upcoming Amazon TV series The War of Rohirrim while slightly concerned for the quality of said projects. LoTR fans are rallying to see new and fresh takes on the franchise in a similar vein as the Star Wars and Marvel projects which seek to reach new and exciting ideas rather than stoke notes that are all too familiar to the stories told long ago.
It’s still up in the air as far as that early critique is concerned but the future of LoTR’s franchise is looking as tempting as The One Ring with it taking a large shift from the two epic trilogies. With a fair amount of patience, fans and newcomers will be blessed with returning to the sprawling Middle-earth soon enough.