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Ever since Amazon broke the news that it's developing a live-action Lord of the Rings series, everyone from the casual fans to Sean Astin has been eager for more details. Well, their wish has been granted today, as (alleged) new details were released in regards to the show's budget, and it looks like Amazon is ready to drop an absolutely insane amount of money on this show. It's being reported that Amazon paid out a whopping $250 million just for the global rights, and by the time it's all said and done, a Lord of the Rings show could cost Amazon over $1 billion dollars!
THR reported the financial murmurings of insiders who say the $250 million price tag is meant to cover five seasons of the flagship series, plus the rights to a potential spinoff. And the rest of the expenses would assumedly come from the actual production itself, from the massive set designs to the casting to the post-production effects and then some. For those wondering, $1 billion dollars is definitely an astronomical budget for a TV show, and even for some film franchises. It goes without saying that if this Lord of the Rings series eventually reaches that total, it will be in contention for the most expensive television show of all time.
That's a title currently held by Netflix's The Crown, which is said to have a budget of $130 million for its ten-episode seasons, although the show's creator has disputed that. Even so, a conservative estimate of $100 million sounds like a lot of money to make just about any show, especially ones with more limited episode counts; but in all fairness, The Crown doesn't have to worry about a ton of CGI effects for battles, makeup to create Orcs or other creatures, nor the pressure of a detail-picky fanbase who expects nothing less than perfection. (Okay, maybe historians.) That's a lot of pressure for Amazon, but with as much money as the company is prepared to drop on this Lord of the Rings series, there's probably some funds that can be allocated towards emergency massages for stressed executives.
While a billion bucks is a lot to drop on a television show, it's not as though the price tag comes without warrant. The Lord of the Rings franchise has an international appeal that predates Star Wars, and of the franchise's six major motion pictures, five of them are still among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time. So while Amazon is making a hefty bet on this prequel to the Fellowship series, it's not as though the franchise's past track record has indicated anything less than huge success for whatever future may come.
While Amazon gets hard to work as lords of the bling, we will continue to wait for more updates regarding exactly how the company is spending that dough. Those looking for shows to watch while awaiting updates can find plenty of offerings still up for grabs on our fall premiere guide. For a look at shows that weren't able to escape 2017 with a fresh season, visit our cancellation guide.