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Amazon's 'The Lord Of The Rings' Series Is "So Unsafe", Says Stuntman

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Amazon's 'The Lord Of The Rings' Series Is "So Unsafe", Says Stuntman

Amazon's The Lord Of The Rings has been called out as "unsafe" by one of the stuntmen who worked on the upcoming fantasy series.

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According to reports, Amazon is thought to have sunk around $465 million into the show's first season alone, with at least four more planned over the next few years. Despite this, a piece recently published by The New Zealand Herald has suggested that there were serious problems on-set, with multiple injured performers - at least one of whom has made allegations of unsafe practices during filming.

Since we don't have any footage of the new show yet, take a look at the in-development Gollum video game spinoff below!

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The Herald reports that no less than three of the show's stunt workers were "seriously" injured while shooting in New Zealand. The first, Elissa Cadwell, is said to have received a $500,000 payment from Amazon following an on-set injury. The Herald stresses this payment was "reportedly in part to help Cadwell get back home and settled in Australia and was not an admission of guilt by Amazon."

There's also veteran performer Dayna Grant, who suffered a concussion while filming the show and is now facing emergency brain surgery to tackle an aneurysm. In this instance, it has been pointed out that Grant worked on a number of projects after finishing up on The Lord Of The Rings, meaning there isn't a definite link between her on-set injury and current condition.

Neither Cadwell nor Grant have spoken directly about their experiences on the show at the time of writing. The only performer to speak on the record with the Herald was Thomas Kiwi, who worked on Peter Jackson's original trilogy as well as The Hobbit prequels before joining the Amazon show. Kiwi, who left the series in March following a rotator cuff injury, told the Herald that the show's handling of stunts was "so unsafe".

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The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King / Credit: EA
The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King / Credit: EA

Kiwi claims that the concerns he raised about his rigging for the backflip stunt that preceded his injury weren't taken seriously by the show's staff. He also alleges that a number of industry-standard practices were skipped or not done properly, including a meeting with the team who were to rig him up and talk him through the scene ahead of the stunt.

"They should be more on to it," Kiwi said, "Because there's a lot of shit that's happening in the stunt department and a lot of unsafe stuff that's happened. I just left."

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For its part, Amazon maintains that it has done nothing wrong throughout the filming of The Lord Of The Rings. "Amazon Studios takes the health, physical and emotional welfare of our cast and crew extremely seriously," a company spokesperson said. "As a top priority, the production team continues to be in full compliance with the mandated WorkSafe NZ Safety and Security government regulations. Any allegation or report that activities on set are unsafe or outside of regulations are completely inaccurate."

Featured Image Credit: Amazon/New Line Cinema

Topics: News, Amazon, The Lord Of The Rings

Ewan Moore
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