Lord of the Rings TV Series Loses Lead Will Poulter

Midsommar’s Will Poulter has vacated his lead role on Amazon’s grandiose Lord of the Rings TV adaptation.

While Amazon’s television prequel adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, set in the monumental-movie-inspiring mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, is still lacking in specific details other than its centuries-earlier time setting, the cast has been slowly coming together. However, it seems that one of its co-stars, Will Poulter, has withdrawn from the series over scheduling conflicts, according to Variety.

Poulter, an English actor who’s seen his star steadily rise in the last few years, was cast to co-star on the series back in September, as Variety also reported. While details on Poulter’s character are still unknown, said character (prospectively played by an unknown replacement,) will join a co-star in Aussie actress Markella Kavenagh, who will reportedly play a character named “Tyra.” The series has since cast Ema Horvath (Like.Share.Follow), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones) and Maxim Baldry (Years and Years) for similarly unspecified characters. 

While Poulter has seen no shortage of high-profile film roles, this co-starring slot on The Lord of the Rings would have been his biggest part yet. Interestingly, it won’t even stand as the only high-profile part to slip though Poulter’s fingers, since he was initially cast as Stephen King’s sewer-dwelling kid-grabbing clown, Pennywise, in a previous iteration of the recent It reboot films; a role that went to Bill Skarsgard. However, he recently appeared in director Ari Aster’s hit horror film, Midsommar, the choice-providing Netflix film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a role reprisal in Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Kathryn Bigelow-directed crime drama Detroit and director David Michod’s Brad Pitt-starring Netflix film, War Machine. He’s also still remembered for his role in 2013 hit ensemble comedy We’re the Millers and 2015’s The Revenant, which went on to reap Oscar glory for director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, star Leonardo DiCaprio and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

Further Reading: Lord of the Rings TV Series Reveals First Cast Member Markella Kavenagh

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The Amazon series, which, without a formal title to cite, is still simply referred to as The Lord of the Rings, is confirmed to take place in the Second Age of Middle Earth, thousands of years before the events of Tolkien’s main novels, and, based on that fact, is expected to chronicle the first war over the One Ring, famously depicted onscreen in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring, in which Sauron – under the false pretense of beneficence – inveigled the kingdoms of Middle Earth across races to forge rings of power that endowed leaders with the strength and will to govern their respective peoples. However, to put things in modern tech terms, Sauron had secret admin access to the Rings OS, forging the Ring of Power, which essentially hacked all of the other Rings, causing discord and devastation across Middle Earth.

Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay will be joined on The Lord of the Rings series by an array of behind-the-scenes talent, notably Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona, and will enjoy the benefit of consultation from key Game of Thrones writer/producer Bryan Cogman.

There’s currently no release date to cite for Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings, but we will certainly keep on top of that and other major developments as the news arrives!

*This article originally ran on September 4, 2019, and has been updated with new information.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.