New Line is gearing up to present one anime to rule them all with The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. Now, before you destroy your Lembas bread after clenching your fists in excitement, you should know that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are not currently involved with this project. That could change, though, as it’s still early days for this ambitious endeavor. I do have a silver lining to report, though. Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings: Return of the King scribe Philippa Boyens will be a consultant on the new project, which is set to be directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Eden of the East, Cyborg 009: Call of Justice, Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Solid State Society). This animated LOTR adventure is currently being fast-tracked with Sola Entertainment in charge of the animation.
Per Deadline, The War of the Rohirrim focuses on a character from the book’s appendix, the mighty King of Rohan, Helm Hammerhand, and a legendary battle that helped shaped Middle-earth heading into LOTR. The anime pic will expand the untold story behind the fortress of Helm’s Deep, delving into the life and bloodsoaked times of Hammerhand. Overall, the movie is a companion piece to New Line’s LOTR trilogy and is set roughly 250 years before that movie during the third age.
“All of us at New Line feel a deep affinity for the extraordinary world J.R.R. Tolkien created, so the opportunity to dive back into Middle-earth with the team at Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true,” Carolyn Blackwood, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chief operating officer, and Richard Brener, New Line Cinema president and chief creative officer, said in a statement. “Fans know Helm’s Deep as the stage for one of the greatest battles ever put to film and, with many of the same creative visionaries involved and the brilliant Kenji Kamiyama at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to deliver a fresh vision of its history that will invite global audiences to experience the rich, complex saga of Middle-earth in a thrilling new way.”
“This will be yet another epic portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world that has never been told before,” said Sam Register, President of Warner Bros. Animation. “We’re honored to partner with much of the incredible talent behind both film trilogies, along with new creative luminaries to tell this story.”
Voice casting for The War of the Rohirrim is currently underway. I suspect that New Line will want some big names attached to this one. Especially with this being such a left-field project for the Tolkien franchise. I’ll tell you what, though. Hearing that Kenji Kamiyama is directing this beast has me very excited. I’m a big fan of his Eden of the East series, and it’s worth noting that he worked in the animation department for the original Akira. Those are some mighty fine credits, my friends. Let’s do this!