Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series, which is currently filming in New Zealand, is rumored to feature nude scenes.
First, The One Ring discovered a casting call for a TV production in Auckland is asking for actors who are comfortable with nudity.
The casting call on BGT reads, “BGT are currently on the search for talent who are comfortable with partial or full nudity. (Intimacy guidelines will always be followed on set) We are after all shapes, sizes and uniquely beautiful looks.”
It continues, “You’ll be needed for background extra and featured extra work on an upcoming TV production shooting in Auckland.”
Finally, the casting call instructs applicants to use the reference word “JAZZ.” BGT explains, “Apply NOW by clicking here, select an Auckland Free Trial and use the reference word – JAZZ. You will need to fill out as much information as possible and upload two photos.”
The One Ring’s Cliff Broadway does indicate the casting call’s connection to Lord of the Rings is a rumor, but he does explain that “we have seen other casting notices that may apply to Lord of the Rings using codeword “JAZZ” for interesting-looking actors and horse riders.”
However, perusing the BGT website, a separate casting call for individuals with horse riding, archery, gymnastics, sword fighting, boxing, and rock climbing experience specifically details they are casting for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings. That casting call is also asking applicants to use the word “ACTION.”
As noted above, the nudity casting call does not specify what show they are casting for.
The casting call is not the only piece of evidence used as part of this rumor to indicate the Lord of the Rings show will feature nudity.
Caleb Williams at Knight Edge Media discovered that Intimacy Coordinator and New Zealand native Jennifer Ward-Lealand has been hired to work on a project called Amazon’s UAP, with UAP more than likely standing for Untitled Amazon Project.
According to Wikipedia, an intimacy coordinator “is a staff member who ensures the well-being of actors who participate in sex scenes or other intimate scenes in theater, film and television production.”
As for the connection to Amazon’s Lord of the Rings, Broadway explains that Amazon’s UAP “is the catch-all working title for LOTR.”
Ward-Lealand revealed her work on the project on her website.
On top of all of this, Variety reported back in 2017, that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wanted a change in programming for Amazon Studios. Variety’s Cynthia Littleton and Daniel Holloway detailed, “The mandate from Jeff Bezos is clear: Bring me “Game of Thrones.””
However, they would elaborate, “The CEO of the e-commerce giant is said to have tasked Amazon Studios chief Roy Price with honing the focus on high-end drama series with global appeal.”
In fact, Price confirmed there was a new direction in order to bring more users to Amazon. He explained, “We’ve been looking at the data for some time, and as a team we’re increasingly focused on the impact of the biggest shows. It’s pretty evident that it takes big shows to move the needle.”
He then reiterated the focus on finding a Game of Thrones, “I do think ‘Game of Thrones’ is to TV as ‘Jaws’ and ‘Star Wars’ was to the movies of the 1970s.” He continued, “It’ll inspire a lot of people. Everybody wants a big hit and certainly that’s the show of the moment in terms of being a model for a hit.”
Later he stated, “If you have one of the top five or 10 shows in the marketplace, it means your show is more valuable because it drives conversations and it drive subscriptions. … We’re a mass-market brand. We have a lot of video customers and we need shows that move the needle at a high level.”
As The One Ring notes, if these rumors are true they are in direct opposition to Tolkien’s vision for the world of The Lord of the Rings.
In Letter 131, Tolkien revealed his intentions for Lord of The Rings writing, “I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story, the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country.”
He continued, ” It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our ‘air’ (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be ‘high’, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry.”
“I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd,” Tolkien added.
What do you make of these rumors that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series might feature nudity?