“The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” Set to Debut Footage at Annecy International Animation Film Festival

The story of one of Middle-earth’s most legendary figures and the creation of one of its most crucial locations, the fortress of Helm’s Deep, is getting an epic anime treatment.

The first look at The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is set to be unveiled at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which begins on June 9. This first look is certainly the most high-profile of Warner Bros. Animation’s slate at the fest, but it’s hardly the only thing the studio is showing—the studio is also giving glimpses of DC Studios/Max Original Creature Commandos (part of DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran’s opening slate, titled “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters”), as well as The Amazing World of Gumball, and the world premiere of The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie.

As for The War of the Rohirrim, the footage will be shared by some of the most important figures in Lord of the Rings history and the film’s director. Helmer Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex TV series), Oscar winner Phillippa Boyens (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies), and Joseph Chou (Blade Runner: Black Lotus TV series) will be at the fest. There’s also another big name from the world of Lord of the Rings slated to be on hand—Andy Serkis (who famously played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) will join The War of the Rohirrim team to discuss how they brought this epic story to the big screen via anime.

The War of the Rohirrim is set roughly two centuries before the events in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” and will center on Helm Hammerhand, the King of Rohan, and the creation of Helm’s Deep, the fortified gorge in the White Mountains that was a major setting in Tolkien’s work and the middle film in Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy The Two Towers. The script comes from Phoebe Gittins and her writing partner, Arty Papageorgiou, and is based on a draft from Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews.

Helm Hammerhand. Image by Winson Seto. Courtesy Warner Bros.

“I’m in awe of the creative talent who have come together to bring this epic, heart-pounding story to life, from the mastery of Kenji Kamiyama to a truly stellar cast,” Boyens told Variety back in 2022.

The connection between the new anime film and Jackson’s creative team includes Oscar-winning makeup and visual effects artist Richard Taylor and Oscar-winning art director Alan Lee. Tolkien illustrator John Howe is also involved. Animation work is currently underway, and the film is slated for a December 13, 2024 release.

The Lord of the Rings films took Tolkien’s masterwork to new cinematic heights and inspired a generation,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich to Variety. “It’s a gift to be able to revisit Middle-earth with many of the same creative visionaries and the talented Kenji Kamiyama at the helm. This will be an epic portrayal unlike anything audiences have ever seen.”

Image by Winson Seto. Courtesy Warner Bros.

For more on all things Lord of the Rings, check out these stories:

Peter Jackson Working on Multiple New “Lord of the Rings” Films For Warner Bros.

“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Returning to Theaters in Remastered & Extended Version

New “Lord of the Rings” Movies Coming to Warner Bros. & New Line

Featured image: Image by Winson Seto. Courtesy Warner Bros.


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