Just last week, the Warner Bros. film studio and its subsidiary New Line Cinema announced new "Lord of the Rings" movies. While no more detailed information is currently available on the plot and start dates of these projects, "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" will be released in cinemas in April 2024. The anime fantasy film by director Kenji Kamiyama (56) tells a prequel to Peter Jackson's (61) "Lord of the Rings" trilogy from 2001 to 2003, and is closely linked to the three successful films in many ways.
Around 200 years before the well-known events of Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf, the animated film "The War of the Rohirrim" is about the story of the Rohan king Helm Hammerhand. He is a predecessor of Théoden (Bernard Hill, 78) known from "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002). After Helm kills the father of Dunlander Wulf with a single blow, he gathers an army and conquers large parts of Rohan. King Helm and his men then retreat to the castle of Helm's Deep, later named after him, where Théoden stands up to the hordes of Saruman's Uruk-hai in the second "Lord of the Rings" film with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas.
Wulf's army, made up partly of mercenaries, then besieges Helm's Deep while combatants on both sides suffer the so-called Long Winter, a five-month period during which Rohan lies buried under a thick blanket of snow.
Among the already known speakers for the upcoming anime film, "Lord of the Rings" returnee Miranda Otto (55) stands out. She lends her prominent voice to the well-known character Éowyn from Jackson's trilogy in the English original. The Shieldmaiden of Rohan serves as the narrator in "The War of the Rohirrim".
In addition, "Succession" star Brian Cox (76) will voice the main character Helm Hammerhand.
Behind "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" is New Line Cinema, the production company that was also responsible for Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which was awarded a total of 17 Oscars. Three-time Oscar winner Jackson has also given the anime project his blessing, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and has also expressed his support on social media. For example, in a Facebook post from 2022, Jackson praised the voice actors for the upcoming "Lord of the Rings" film.
In addition, the Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" screenwriter Philippa Boyens (61) acts as a consultant and executive producer on the project. Boyens' daughter Phoebe Gittins is co-writing the screenplay. Also involved behind the scenes is illustrator Alan Lee (75), who has already illustrated a number of Tolkien books, and for his work on the trilogy ending "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003) with an Oscar for the " Best Production Design" was awarded.
"The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" is supposed to be a real anime film. Director Kamiyama was previously involved in the anime series "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" (2002-2005) and "Blade Runner: Black Lotus" (since 2021). Meanwhile, co-writers Gittins, Will Matthews and Jeffrey Addiss also worked on the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019).
Ahead of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, Executive Producer Boyens stated that the Dark Lord Sauron and the One Ring are "very peripheral" to the story of the upcoming animated film. Perhaps "The War of the Rohirrim" offers a hint as to what future live-action films from the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" universes could look like.