‘The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim’ Anime First Look Takes Annecy By Storm As Peter Jackson And Fran Walsh Unveiled As EPs

Japanese animator and director Kenji Kamiyama made his Annecy debut in the company of Andy Serkis on Tuesday with a 20-minute preview of upcoming anime feature The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.

The extract was greeted with an enthusiastic response by the animation crowd jammed into the French festival’s 1000-set Grand Bonlieu auditorium.

More from Deadline

Serkis, whose career will forever be entwined with JRR Tolkien’s fantasy classic through his Gollum role in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, is not directly involved in the anime feature but traveled to Annecy to introduce the footage and moderate a panel after the screening.

“You are the first people to see this,” said Serkis.

Hailing from New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Animation, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim delves into a short episode in Tolkien’s original work around the war between Rohan and the Dunlendings, focusing on the daughter of Rohan king Helm Hammerhand, a lone survivor of the carnage.

It is the first time a LOTR adaptation has been led by a female character. Unnamed in the original book, she has been called Hèra in the anime adaptation and is voiced by Gaia Wise.

Kamiyama and Serkis were joined on stage by Oscar-winning producer Philippa Boyens (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies), producer Joseph Chou (Blade Runner: Black Lotus TV series) and Warner Bros exec Jason Demarco.

Kamiyana, whose previous anime credits include Blade Runner: Black Lotus, said he had been inspired both by Tolkien’s books and the films of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, describing himself as an avid fan of the latter.

In a kicker to the event, Boyens announced that Jackson and Walsh were EPs on the production. Neither were present, but Jackson appeared in a short video at the beginning of the event to talk about the project.

The feature, which is currently in production at Tokyo-based Sola Entertainment, will be distributed theatrically worldwide by Warner Bros on December 13, 2024.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.