Amazon spending $465 million on season 1 of The Lord of the Rings series

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, 2001
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, 2001 /

Amazon has been working on a Lord of the Rings TV show for years, and they seem determined that it eclipse anything ever attempted on TV before. The company spent $250 million on the rights alone, and that’s before an actor was cast or a camera turned on. Now, Deadline confirms that the first season of the show will cost $465 million to produce.

For comparison’s sake, Peter Jackson’s whole Lord of the Rings trilogy cost $281 million to make. For something more recent, Game of Thrones was spending around $100 million per season after it really blew up — this would be around season 6 — and spent far less in its early days.

The $465 million number came out when New Zealand, where the show is shooting, revealed that it would be rebating the production around 25% of its costs, or $116 million. “There is considerable economic and tourism potential in the Lord of the Rings Project,” said Stuart Nash, the country’s Economic and Regional Development Minister. “Not only does it bolster our global reputation as a desirable place to make screen productions, it will further strengthen our tourism appeal to visitors with the ‘Middle-earth’ theme. Under the [memorandum of understanding], the Government’s investment will enable significant economic, cultural and industry development benefits to New Zealand over many years.”

New Zealand already gets tourism dollars thanks to Jackson’s LOTR and Hobbit movies, which were also filmed the country. Clearly they want to keep the association going.

When will The Lord of the Rings series come out?

There is no premiere date as of yet for Amazon’s new show. Filming is ongoing after some setbacks due to the pandemic. I’m going to go ahead and guess we’re looking at a 2022 premiere.

As with Peter Jackson and his original trilogy, Amazon is shooting the first two seasons back to back, and will be filled with elaborate sets and expensive costumes. The series is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As little as we know about it, the enormous has us excited.

Amazon cancels Lord of the Rings MMO video game

But not all is peachy keen in Lord of the Rings land. Amazon recently told Bloomberg that it had cancelled a planned massively multiplayer online game to be set in Middle-earth, saying it was “unable to secure terms” to continue development. Chinese company Leyou was in charge of the project, and the cancellation may have something to do with a contract dispute that arose after Leyou was bought by giant multi-national corporation Tencent.

I guess the $500 million Lord of the Rings TV show will have to be enough.

dark. Next. The 12 best roles Game of Thrones stars got after the show

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime, and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels

h/t Deadline