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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Hrithik Roshan unveils The Rings of Power with Tamannaah, says LOTR films inspired Krrish

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will release on Amazon Prime on September 2 in more than 30 languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada

Debarati S Sen Mumbai Published 19.08.22, 02:14 PM
(L-R) J.D. Payne, Tamannaah Bhatia and Hrithik Roshan at a promotional event for The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power in Mumbai.

(L-R) J.D. Payne, Tamannaah Bhatia and Hrithik Roshan at a promotional event for The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power in Mumbai. Debarati S Sen

If there was no The Lord of the Rings, there would have been no Krrish — said Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan while hosting a promotional event for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in Mumbai on Thursday. The upcoming series, a prequel to The Lord of The Rings, will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from September 2.

“Way back in 2004, my dad (filmmaker Rakesh Roshan) binge-watched The Lord Of The Rings part 1, 2 and 3. And then he gave me a call and said, ‘What an incredible idea to have this progression. Why can’t we make Koi... Mil Gaya?’ And that was the birth of Krrish. So, if there was no The Lord of the Rings, then there’d be no Krrish,” said Hrithik.

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Baahubali actress Tamannaah Bhatia co-hosted the launch event, which was attended by The Lord of the Rings showrunner J.D. Payne along with the ensemble cast of the series, including Robert Aramayo, Maxim Baldry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Charles Edwards, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Tyroe Muhafidin and Nazanin Boniadi.

“Basic human emotions cut through all. There is no language needed, there is no country needed. And I think that faith I have in cinema has been reaffirmed by The Rings of Power,” said Tamannaah.

300 days of shoot

During the event, Payne said that they had 300 days of shoot for the eight episodes, from February 2020 to August 2021, with each episode comprising an hour of cinema. The shoot was also disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

“We are telling an untold story of Middle-earth. We auditioned hundreds and hundreds of people for every single role and found 22 needles in 22 haystacks,” said Payne, who believes that every actor in the show is going to take our “breath away”.

Even non-LOTR fans can watch it

Based on The Lord of The Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien’s history of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power predates the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by thousands of years.

However, the makers explained that the audience didn’t need to read the books or see the previous films to understand this series.

Connecting Tolkien’s Middle-earth with the real world

In response to a question on how challenging it was to attempt a prequel to a popular series like The Lord of the Rings, Payne said, “The biggest pressure was that there is such a need to bring Middle-earth (a fantasy realm that was created by Tolkien for his books) to our physical world. There is darkness in our world right now — economic darkness, social darkness, political darkness — and there are a lot of people in a lot of pain, so there are a lot of challenges and Middle-earth speaks to people and their souls.”

“Tolkien sketched this story of Middle-earth, he didn’t do it in a ton of detail, so there were parts that we had to carefully excavate, go through and we had to continue to connect the dots. We tried to do that in as Tolkienian a way as possible,” Payne added.

Why India was selected for the launch

Talking about why India was chosen for the mega launch event, Amazon Studios’ chief operating officer Albert Cheng said, “India is witnessing the maximum number of new customers worldwide who started subscribing to Prime Video last year. It is one of the fastest growing customer bases and so, it made sense to launch our biggest International series here. Mumbai is recognised as one of the entertainment capitals of the world alongside Los Angeles and London, so this was our perfect choice. Today 99% of pin codes in India stream Prime Video.”

Tolkien fans’ reaction to The Rings of Power

Sharing an anecdote that made him feel he had done what he set out to do with this series, Payne said, “One of my best moments so far was when we were showing this to some Tolkien super fans. Around 20 minutes into the show, someone asked, ‘What do you guys think of it’ and one of them said, ‘You know, this feels like Middle-earth’ and I broke into tears at that. That was all I wanted to accomplish!”

Touted as one of the most expensive OTT shows ever, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will drop on Prime Video in 240 countries in more than 30 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

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