Amazon‘s forthcoming Lord of the Rings series now has a director, and they’re not skimping on the pedigree. J.A. Bayona, most recently known for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, has signed on to direct the first two episodes of the sprawling fantasy series, which is reportedly set before the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings book series.

Bayona is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed debut The Orphanage, which was executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and rewarded with a 10-minute standing ovation at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

While he won’t be directing every single episode in Amazon’s LotR series, Bayona has signed on to executive produce, along with production partner Belén Atienza.

The series’ writing is led by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, with the talents of Breaking Bad veteran Gennifer Hutchison and Game of ThronesBryan Cogman reportedly on board as well.

Bayona told the media:

J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honour and a joy to join this amazing team. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.

Spoken like a true fanboy. While The Hobbit and LotR are obviously the best known of Tolkien‘s works, our mate J.R.R. was the original fantasy nerd, creating a massive and intricate world with a rich history, several complete languages and stories aplenty, just waiting to be mined for TV gold.

Fortunately there are rumours that Peter Jackson has come on board in a consulting role to make sure there’s at least some kind of visual cohesion between the early-2000s film series and Amazon’s TV show. Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of The Hobbit films. Lest we remember.

Source: Deadline