The first part of the Lord of the Rings anime directed by Kenji Kamiyama

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema are headed back to Middle-Earth, this time in the form of a fully-animated feature film, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.

The film is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy 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.”

Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex tv series) will direct the anime feature from a script by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance). Joseph Chou (Blade Runner: Black Lotus tv series) produces, while Philippa Boyens, who was part of the screenwriting team on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, is serving as a consultant.

Warner Bros. cautions that though the film is a standalone story, a prior knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien's universe will come in handy: “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is being created 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.”

The film is being produced through the Sam Register-led Warner Bros. Animation (WBA), which has traditionally been WB's television arm, not Warner Animation Group, which is responsible for features like Scoob and the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy. WBA, however, is well versed in action-adventure animation, having produced many series set in DC's superhero universe, and does have one feature film under its belt: 2018's Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

War of the Rohirrim is being fast-tracked for the big screen, with animation work at Japan's Sola Entertainment and voice casting currently underway. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.