Buried in a Reuters report on Amazon’s financials for Prime Video was a projected cost for their upcoming Lord of the Rings series.
Amazon announced in November that it would be adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings into a television series.
The series, which has a multi-season commitment with spin-off potential, has no projected premiere date. It is set to begin prior to the events of Fellowship of the Ring.
It was originally reported by Deadline that the rights to the project alone cost in the ballpark of $200 million. Now, according to Reuters, Amazon’s projected cost for its ambitious Lord of the Rings series through two seasons could hit over double that original cost.
Per Reuters’ report:
The company had offered $250 million for the rights alone; production and marketing could raise costs to $500 million or more for two seasons, one of the people said.
At half a billion dollars, the prequel would cost triple what Amazon paid for The Man in the High Castle seasons one and two, the documents show. That means it would need to draw three times the number of Prime members as The Man in the High Castle for an equal payoff.
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With how picturesque the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies were on the big screen, it is of little surprise that replicating that for the small screen would run up a huge production cost. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if that estimate creeps up as the show’s development continues.