Amazon's upcoming TV series based on Lord of the Rings is going to run the studio back about $465 for one single season. Perhaps hoping to compete with the success of Peter Jackson's original movie trilogy, Amazon Studios is apparently going all-in with the company reportedly spending around NZ$650 million, or $465 million in U.S. currency, for just the show's first season.
This tremendously high price tag is even above the previously-reported estimate of $500 million for multiple seasons of the show, a number that was already record-setting. By comparison, the expensive medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones had cost HBO roughly $100 million per season. That show had begun with around $6 million put into each episode for season 1, followed with GoT costing around $15 million per episode by the eighth and final season. That's obviously a lot of money, but it still pales in comparison to Amazon Studios' budget for The Lord of the Rings.
"What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone," Stuart Nash, New Zealand Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, reportedly told Morning Report. "This is fantastic, it really is ... this will be the largest television series ever made."
Amazon picked up the global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings back in 2017. At the time, it was reported that the plan was to develop a multi-season series consisting of new stories set before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories. Full details on the plot of the series are still unclear, but it seems obvious that Amazon has very high hopes for the success of the show. A massive budget will certainly improve the odds of becoming a hit, but fans will still need a well-crafted story and likeable characters to keep people watching.
Production on The Lord of the Rings is currently underway in New Zealand. The first season will reportedly consist of 20 episodes written by the writing duo of JD Payne and Patrick McKay. J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) will direct the show's first two episodes and will also serve as an executive producers alongside Belén Atienza. Also executive producing are Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, and Sharon Tal Yguado, as well as writers Gennifer Hutchison, Jason Cahill, and Justin Doble.
"They're already generating really exciting material," Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke previously told THR of the show's writers. "They're down in Santa Monica. You have to go through such clearance, and they have all their windows taped closed. And there's a security guard that sits outside, and you have to have a fingerprint to get in there, because their whole board is up on a thing of the whole season."
The Lord of the Rings series will star Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani.
Amazon hasn't yet set a release date for The Lord of the Rings TV series on Amazon Prime Video. If we're lucky, the series will debut before the end of the year. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.