LOTR TV series ‘most expensive show ever’

The new Lord of the Rings TV series could be the most expensive show of all time. Picture: Supplied
The new Lord of the Rings TV series could be the most expensive show of all time. Picture: Supplied

MAKING TV is not a cheap exercise these days.

Netflix consistently shells out the cash for tentpole hits like House of Cards (approx. $5.9 million an episode), the recently-cancelled Sense8 ($11.8 million an episode), and most recently, broke records after spending a hefty $171 million on the first season of royals drama The Crown.

HBO is no stranger to spending, either; their Game of Thrones budget is notoriously high (season six reportedly clocked in at some $131 million total, and the final season is tipped to cost around $115 million). It makes perfect sense, then, that Amazon, who has been looking for their own Thrones, would be willing to throw any amount of cash necessary at the right project - and it seems they've found it.

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Amazon had purchased the global rights to J.R.R. Tolkein's hit fantasy series The Lord of the Rings for some $329 million and would be turning it into a television series.

The Lord of the Rings is returning to our screens.
The Lord of the Rings is returning to our screens.

While this insane price tag bewildered many, it now seems that this amount is going to appear like chump change once the show actually goes into production.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this potential five-season series (plus a potential spin-off) could end up going down in history as the most expensive television show ever made:

"Once production budgets, casting, writers, producers, and visual effects are factored in, the total for the Rings series - which will be set in Middle-earth and explore storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring - could hit $1.3 billion. Yes, $1.3 billion for a TV show."

Amazon has certainly thrown cash in some questionable directions before (they reportedly paid some $80 million for Crisis in Six Scenes, their Woody Allen series that flopped), but this takes things to a whole new level.

Whether or not the risk will be worth the reward remains to be seen.

This story originally appeared in Decider and is republished here with permission.

Topics:  amazon editors picks lord of the rings television series

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