Sir Lenny Henry joins cast of Amazon's The Lord Of The Rings

He is among 20 new cast members added to the production.

Sir Lenny Henry has joined the cast of Amazon’s big budget TV adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings.

The veteran comedian and actor, 62, features among a 20-strong list of cast members added to the project.

Production on the fantasy epic, which was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, is currently under way in New Zealand after resuming in autumn.

Peter Mullan
Ozark and Westworld actor Peter Mullan will also star in the new project (Danny Lawson/PA)

Sir Lenny, who co-founded Comic Relief and released his memoir Who Am I Again? in October 2019, joins previously announced names including Welsh stars Owain Arthur and Morfydd Clark and Iranian-British actress Nazanin Boniadi.

It is not clear what his role will be.

Seven of the new ensemble hail from New Zealand while the others originate from locations including Australia, Sri Lanka, the UK and US.

Ozark and Westworld star Peter Mullan and Lloyd Owen from You, Me And The Apocalypse on Sky both feature.

Peter Tait, who played multiple minor roles in Peter Jackson’s third and final The Lord Of The Rings film The Return Of The King, has also been cast.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
Peter Jackson’s films are set after the events of the upcoming series (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Benjamin Walker from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Cynthia Addai-Robinson, whose credits include Arrow and Power, also feature on the list.

Other names include Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells,​ Geoff Morrell, Augustus Prew, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham and Sara Zwangobani.

Showrunners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay said: “The world that JRR Tolkien created is epic, diverse, and filled with heart.

“These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multi-year search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world to life anew.

“The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family.

“We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”

The Impossible filmmaker JA Bayona is directing the first two episodes and serving as executive producer.

The series will be set in the Second Age and explore the events before Jackson’s film trilogy, which are based on JRR Tolkien’s books.

The Second Age covers a time period of 3,441 years and according to Tolkien’s books it was during this time that the Ring Of Power was created.

The era finishes with the defeat of Sauron, placing the events of Amazon’s series well before the events of Jackson’s films.

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