Friday, April 13, 2018

Lord of the Rings (sorta) Coming to TV - Five Seasons from Amazon - Paid $250 Million for Rights - $1 Billion to Produce

This was announced a back in November but it just caught my eye today as it is recently back in the news cycle. Amazon reportedly paid $250 million for the rights to produce five seasons of a Lord of the Rings TV show for its Prime streaming service.

Looks like the bidding war between Amazon and Netflix was strong.

Anyhow, ComicSands.com has the article covering the costs involved.
After a battle with Netflix, Amazon won the adaption rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy series. The streaming service reportedly paid $250 million for a deal that guarantees a five-season television adaption of The Lord of the Rings. Estimates indicate the series will cost Amazon around $1 billion, making it "the most expensive TV show ever," according to The Hollywood Reporter. 
The complicated contract stipulates that this new show must enter production within two years or the rights will revert back to Tolkien's heirs.
The Hollywood Reporter goes a bit deeper:
On Nov. 13, Amazon Studios beat out Netflix for a $250 million rights deal with the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema that includes a five-season commitment to bring The Lord of the Rings to the small screen. With the clock ticking, Amazon must be in production within two years, according to the terms of the pact. When production expenses like casting, producers and visual effects are factored in, the series is expected to cost north of $1 billion.
The Verge had the announcement back in November - I missed that one too.

From the Verge:
In the statement announcing the news, the company clarifies that the new show will “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” with a potential spinoff series also included as part of the deal. That means Amazon is going to be making a prequel to the classic tale of Frodo Baggins, offering Amazon plenty of leeway to create its own characters and take on the world. If Amazon is looking for an opportunity to add the sex, violence, and soap opera drama to Tolkien’s world that have made shows like Game of Thrones so successful, this kind of approach would certainly offer the opportunity.
So, really its less Lord of the Rings and more Middle Earth. Still, interesting. I wonder if it will add to the popularity of fantasy roleplaying.


  1. Too bad it’s made by such an evil company.

  2. How in the heck do they plan to recoup their expenses, let alone turn a profit?

  3. I wonder how much the Rankin and Bass versions cost... For some funny reason I doubt that Amazon will come close to making any sort of classic that will stand the test of time.

  4. They aren't going to recoup their expenses. They're willing to lose a ton of money in order to make a major strike against Netflix for movie streaming dominance.

  5. Epic fail in the making. Jackson's films were a unique conjunction of talent and energy (that even he couldn't recreate with the Hobbit).

    1. They were a unique combination alright. I loathe those movies. I was hopeful about this production until I heard Peter Jackson was involved with it again.

  6. I'll never watch a minute of it. Still trying to wipe the stain of Peter Jackson's ham-handed vision from my imagination. I don't need any more mischief from mass mark hacks.


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