Lord of the Rings may have already had an amazing trilogy under its belt in the form of the Peter Jackson-directed film of the same name, but that’s never stopped worlds from being revisited in the past. Some months back, we learned that Amazon had won the rights to turn the books into a new series for the low, low price of $250 million. That’s right. For the rights alone, it costs more than your average big-budget blockbuster.
According to a new report from THR, the stipulations of the fact include a five-season commitment to the series (which will reportedly not be a retread of the films, so much as a prequel of sorts — it’s a bit unclear), and it’s one that must go in front of cameras within the next two years. When all said and done, the five-season show will cost north of $1 billion — and that’s just rights plus production! That’s substantially more than we initially thought.
“It’s very much a creature of the times,” Peter Jackson’s attorney, Peter Nelson (who has helped open a dialogue between Jackson and Amazon), said of the Amazon deal. “We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios’ emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles.”
I will agree on some level with this. Netflix is spending $8 billion on new content this year alone, and while that’s great in giving them breadth, they are severely lacking in legit franchises (the closest they have are Bright and Stranger Things). In capitalizing on that, Amazon may be able to rise above the rest — assuming it’s any good.
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