$465mn: That's how much Season 1 of 'LOTR' would cost!
Epic fantasy adventure The Lord of the Rings is now being developed into a television series. Amazon is collaborating with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema for the project, which will be the largest and most expensive television series ever made. Amazon had to pay an eye-watering $465 million just for the first season, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Amazon had bought its TV rights in November 2017 for $250 million. They have already committed over $1 billion on the project and are planning on producing at least five seasons. The production of the fantasy drama faced delays due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, but it is expected to premiere by the end of 2021 on Prime Video.
The astounding figures about the show were released as part of the New Zealand government's Official Information Act. The show is being shot in that country and it is taking advantage of New Zealand's Screen Production Grant. "Amazon will get an extra 5% grant and would be eligible for a rebate of about NZ$162 million ($116 million) (sic)," the government said in a statement.
Stuart Nash, New Zealand minister for economic development and tourism is excited about Amazon's plans. "Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone. This is fantastic, this will be the largest television series ever made (sic)," he said.
The series is based on English author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings and will showcase Middle-earth's second Age. It is set in a time period way before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books and films. The eight-episode first season will follow characters as they square up to the wicked re-emergence in Middle-earth.
The show's huge ensemble cast includes Robert Aramayo, Joseph Mawle from HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, Owain Arthur from Kingdom, Nazanin Boniadi from Counterpart and medical drama General Hospital, and Ismael Cruz Cordova from The Catch, and many more. Screenwriters JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who are writing the next Star Trek film, will be showrunners on the series.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was directed by Peter Jackson. The first film was released in 2001 called The Fellowship of the Ring, the second in 2002 The Two Towers, and the third one in 2003 called The Return of the King. The franchise is one of the highest-grossing film series of all time and has won 17 Academy awards.