Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a magnificent piece of filmmaking. All aspects of the production melded together beautifully to create a living, breathing Middle-Earth. The special effects makeup by WETA Workshop gave us plenty of amazing fantasy creatures, but my favourites were easily the Orcs (and Uruk-hai). The makeup was so detailed and expressive that you almost forgot there was a human being under the prosthetics, but by the time The Hobbit trilogy rolled around, many of those wonderful creature makeups were tossed aside in favour of CGI. The Orcs and Goblins of The Hobbit movies rarely seemed real and definitely weren’t as scary as their predecessors. I say all this because it seems that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series will give us Orcs realized through practical prosthetics once again!
IGN has a handful of first-look photos of the Orcs from The Rings of Power, which you can check out below!
Glorious. IGN also spoke with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power executive producer Lindsey Weber, who said that the Orcs of the Second Age had to stand apart from the ones we know from the movies. “We spent a lot of time talking about what it would mean to be an Orc in the Second Age,” Weber said. “It felt appropriate that their look would be different, part of a wilder, more raw, Second Age, Middle-earth, closer to where the First Age ends. As we meet them, they’re not yet organized into armies, they’re a little more scattered and they’ve been scavenging. So it’s just a different time in their total story.” Jamie Wilson, head of the prosthetic department for The Rings of Power, added that although there will be CG touchups here and there, it was important for them to try to stay as real as possible.
We did decide from the outset that we would try and make this a very real show. So therefore, we tried to use real prosthetics and everything and minimize the visual effects, because there are hundreds of productions that are heavy on visual effects, and you can see it, that the human eye is getting better and better and knows what is real and knows what isn’t, because we are just getting so deloused with all this product that you begin to know.
We’ll likely be hearing more about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power fairly soon as the series will be presented at San Diego Comic-Con next month. The first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. What do you think of these first photos of Orcs from The Rings of Power?