Amazon really need their upcoming series based on The Lord of the Rings to become one of the biggest and most popular shows on television, otherwise serious questions will be getting asked over the decision to make it the single most expensive episodic project in history, with an eye-watering sum of $465 million being spent to bring just the first season to life.
Of course, it shouldn’t have too much trouble accomplishing that feat given the long-lasting popularity of the brand, which boasts a built-in fanbase spanning multiple generations, while small screen fantasy is arguably more popular than it’s ever been and J.R.R. Tolkien’s expansive lore is one of the genre’s most iconic and recognizable IPs.
Still, it’s not a 100% guarantee that it’ll be a smash hit, but insider Daniel Richtman nonetheless offers that the second season of The Lord of the Rings will cost even more than the first, although the tipster doesn’t expound on how or why Amazon will be upping the budgetary ante. Looking at the facts, however, you’d have to imagine that additional runs would actually cost progressively less given the groundwork that’s currently being laid.
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Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke recently explained why the opening batch of episodes was such a mammoth investment, and having committed a billion dollars to five seasons of content, spending the same again on the second would run the cash well pretty dry with 60% of the entire endeavor still left financially unaccounted for.
Logistically, a huge number of sets will have been built that can be reused over and over again, the effects team should have character models and digital backdrops that they can tweak to suit almost any scenario and much of the principal cast will be locked into multi-season contracts, so if anything, you’d hope The Lord of the Rings would actually get cheaper the further along it goes, or the studio’s initial fiscal estimate would be at least doubled.