Last Updated on July 30, 2021
If you thought Game of Thrones or Marvel Studios' Disney+ series showcased the power of big budgets on the small screen, Jeff Bezos is prepared for you to hold his beer. Amazon Prime's upcoming Lord of the Rings series is poised to be as ornate and lush as Rivendell and as costly as the one ring to rule them all. Forget going to Mordor because the characters in this show are better off heading to the nearest Bank of Smaug.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon will spend roughly $465 million for the first season of the show. Granted, that's likely to be couch change for Jeff Bezos, but it's still considerably above the previously reported estimates. Point of fact, some shows spend upward of $500 on multiple seasons. Here's hoping Amazon sees some major returns when this project hits their streaming service.
"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, told Morning Report. "This is fantastic, it really is … this will be the largest television series ever made."
The amounts were released as part of the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act and initially reported by the New Zealand outlet Stuff. The documents also confirmed that Amazon is potentially looking at five seasons for its Lord of the Rings plan – in addition to possible, as-yet-unannounced spinoff series.
It's worth noting that future seasons of Amazon's Lord of the Rings will be less expensive than the first because the first season comes part and parcel with several start-up costs – such as sets, costumes, and props. In other words, once those elements are established they can be reused for future episodes.
Here's the official description for Amazon Prime's Lord of the Rings TV series:
The Lord of the Rings "brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone."