Long before The Lord of the Rings became one of the biggest live-action film series in history, J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy series had already been translated to the big screen in animation. Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings — which later served as one of the influences for Peter Jackson’s own Tolkien films. Some 40 years later, The Lord of the Rings will get another animated feature with Warner Bros. announcing plans for an anime from director Kenji Kamiyama called The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.

According to the press release the film “explores and expands the untold story behind the fortress of Helm’s Deep, delving into the life and bloodsoaked times of one of Middle-earth’s most legendary figures; the mighty King of Rohan - Helm Hammerhand.” The story takes place about 250 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and is intended as a “companion piece to New Line’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with story and artistic elements woven throughout that will reconnect fans to the excitement and cinematic wonder of Middle-earth.” Philippa Boyens, who co-wrote the Lord of the Rings movies with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, is involved as a “consultant.” (No word yet on whether Jackson or Walsh may get involved.)

This is the second major upcoming project that’s based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (although neither is, strictly speaking, a direct adaptation). The other is Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings television series, which is currently in production in New Zealand. That show is set even earlier in the Middle-earth timeline than The War of the Rohirrim, thousands of years before the adventures of Frodo and Sam. The first season alone will cost Amazon more than $450 million. The site has already committed to making five seasons of the show at a reported cost of $1 billion.

But that’s live-action. The War of the Rohirrim will be animated, which will help it stand out in the busy world of ancillary Lord of the Rings content.

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