Movies & TV

A Lord of the Rings Anime Film Is Happening, And It's Taking Us Back to Helm's Deep

Two whole hours of warfare at Helm's Deep? Sign us up.
IMAGE NEW LINE CINEMA

If you’re one of the 43 million viewers of the Helm’s Deep battle scene on YouTube, then get ready for an entire full-length film of another epic battle in the stone gorge. The Battle of the Hornburg was the best part of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and 20 years later, it still lives in our minds rent-free. And now, we might get to relive the glory of Helm’s Deep with an entirely new story—this time in an animated film. 

An original anime LOTR movie is set to be released on April 12, 2024. The anime will be called The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim and will be produced by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Animation with animation from Sola Entertainment. 

What will The War of the Rohirrim be about? 

The anime will be set 200 years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, focusing on another king of Middle Earth, Helm Hammerhand, King of the Rohan. The movie will explore the very creation of Helm’s Deep and the battle that led to its legacy. As J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology goes, the King of the Rohan and his people endured a long, bitter siege at Helm’s Deep that led to starvation, conflict, and countless deaths. Helm fought battle after battle to keep his enemies at bay, and Helm’s Deep was named in his honor. 

Sieges always make for grand moments on film, so we can’t wait to see a two-hour-long film dedicated to another siege and war at the walls of the stone gorge. 

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Concept art from Warner Bros. and Weta Workshop

Photo by Weta Workshop/Warner Bros. Pictures.

How will it tie into the LOTR films? 

That’s a tricky question. New Line Cinema produced The Hobbit trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so we expect that the anime will pay homage to the live-action films and keep in line with its continuity. However, the LOTR world is expanding as Amazon is producing its own live-action television series called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Amazon’s LOTR adaptation is set thousands of years before the events of the New Line Cinema trilogies, and while the Amazon show will focus on familiar characters, it’s not required to stick to the established stories. Two different studios can lead to two different timelines and realities. We know—how confusing. 

Still, since the anime film will be produced by New Line Cinema, we can expect the series to play into the stories of The Hobbit and the original LOTR trilogy.

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The Rohirrim in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Photo by New Line Cinema.

Who will be making the anime film? 

For all those still on the fence about the upcoming LOTR TV series, there’s no reason to fret about the new anime film because the storytellers behind the Oscar-winning LOTR trilogy are back. Philippa Boyens, who helped write the scripts for the two trilogies, will be the executive producer, and LOTR creative director Richard Taylor and Tolkien artist Alan Lee and John Howe will also be returning. Kenji Kamiyama and Joseph Chou from Blade Runner: Black Lotus will direct and produce the film, respectively. 

No voice actors have been cast yet. 

This is only the fourth time LOTR stories have been adapted into an animated film. The first three times occurred way back in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. The War of the Rohirrim will be the first LOTR anime—and it’s been a long time coming. 

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Anri Ichimura
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