The Lord of the Rings series by Amazon Prime Video is estimated to be the largest television series ever made. The much-anticipated fantasy series will reportedly cost more than any previous record-breaking estimates. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the makers will roughly spend NZ$650 million i.e $465 million (USD) for just the first season of the show.
Stuart Nash, New Zealand minister for economic development and tourism, told Morning Report, "What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone. This is fantastic, it really is ... this will be the largest television series ever made."
Old reports had claimed that the fantasy drama based on JRR Tolkien's books will cost $500 million for multiple seasons. However, the latest numbers were released by the New Zealand government as part of their Official Information Act, reported the New Zealand outlet Stuff.
The report also confirmed the studio's plan to film five seasons in New Zealand for the show as well as possible spin-off shows. However, the estimate may be more than the production cost, as the rights to Tolkien's property reportedly cost an estimated $250 million. In addition, the makers will also have to spend a considerable amount on sets, props, costumes and more.
The studio had bought the rights to JRR Tolkien's beloved Middle Earth franchise in 2017. At the time, it was estimated that the show might turn out to be world's first TV series to cost $1 billion. For the unversed, HBO's Game of Thrones had roughly cost $100 million to produce per season.
The anticipated show will star Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones), Owain Arthur (Kingdom), Nazanin Boniadi (Counterpart), Ismael Cruz Cordova (The Catch), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones) and many others.
The show's official description revealed that the show is set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It says, "Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth."
"From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone," the synopsis added.
The show was scheduled to debut later this year, but the makers are yet to reveal any updates about the production timeline or the release date.