Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power executive producer Lindsey Weber, has responded to the backlash against the series diverse cast.
The Lord of the Rings franchise is one with a lot of complicated baggage. The Middle-Earth series was primarily written by J.R.R. Tolkien that started with The Hobbit all the way back in 1937. He eventually followed this up with The Lord of the Rings with various other materials, including The Silmarillion being published after his death. Some, however, have been critical of the man, the adaptations of his works, and how they have dealt with race.
In the Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example, the cast was primarily made up of caucasian men with most people of color being cast in minor supporting roles, such as orcs. The people behind Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power series clearly thought this was a mistake and have a cast full of people with diverse backgrounds. Earlier today, a new set of images from Vanity Fair was released and revealed some of these cast members. The backlash from the usual suspects was as predictable as one might expect. So predictable, in fact, that in that same article, the producers were already ahead of it with an argument against it.
While speaking to Vanity Fair, Lindsey Weber talked about the diversity of the cast and how they wanted to create a world that would reflect what the world actually looks like:
“It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like. Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
Tolkien scholar Mariana Rios Maldonado added to this by asking who exactly would be the kind of people who would feel so threatened by this:
“Obviously there was going to be push and backlash but the question is from whom? Who are these people that feel so threatened or disgusted by the idea that an elf is Black or Latino or Asian?”
Amazon Studios is producing The Rings of Power in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are serving as showrunners and executive producers on the series. The ensemble for the show consists of Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman.
Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on September 2, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming series and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: Vanity Fair