With the streaming wars heating up in a major way, Amazon has taken a big step in developing its biggest original project. Variety reports that “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” director J.A. Bayona will helm the first two episodes of Amazon’s “Lord of The Rings” series and also serve as an executive producer for the entire ambitious project.

Bayona got his start with acclaimed dramas like “The Orphanage,” “The Impossible,” and “A Monster Calls.” Recently, he has begun moving into the commercial realm with last year’s “Fallen Kingdom,” which made over $1.3 billion worldwide. He was also at one point attached to “World War Z 2” prior to David Fincher’s involvement. Bayona is also no stranger to premium television, having directed the first two episodes of Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful.”

With this appointment, Bayona will become the first person to direct an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books aside from Peter Jackson. Jackson directed all the three “Lord of the Rings” films and all three of “The Hobbit” prequel films.

“J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team,” said Bayona. “I can’t wait to take audiences around the world back to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story.”

The early episodes of a fledgling series can be some of the most crucial, as they establish the aesthetics and feel for the rest of the show and serve as the hook to get viewers to keep coming back. The first and final episodes of a show tend to be where big, distinguished talents are brought in to ensure the best product possible.

Little is known specifically about the plot of Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings,” except that it will not directly adapt any story covered in Jackson’s films, and that it will act as a prequel set in the Second Age, roughly 3,500 years before the defeat of Sauron. At a cost of $1 billion, the series is expected to be the most expensive show of all time.

Lord of the Rings
Pictured are actors performing a stage rendition on "Lord of the Rings" in London on June 18, 2007.  Getty Images