There was never any doubt that it was going to cost A LOT of money to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to television. Just the very nature of the story ensures that no matter which medium it’s adapted for, it won’t be a cheap endeavor. That’s something Amazon knows full well, though, and after spending $250 million to acquire the rights to the property, we’re now hearing that they may be shelling out another $500 million to actually produce it.
According to Reuters, that’s what the studio is budgeting across the show’s two seasons. It’s a staggering amount of money, too, as Peter Jackson’s original trilogy only cost $281 million to put together. Granted, that was back in the early 2000s, but still, $500 million (plus marketing costs) is ridiculously high for a television production. Unheard of and unprecedented, even. That being said, it might just be worth it.
After all, The Lord of the Rings is a beloved property that’s known on a global scale, and with Game of Thrones coming to an end soon, viewers are going to be craving another fantasy epic to get swept up in. Then again, even if Amazon manages to capture that entire audience, we still struggle to see how they’ll be able to make money on this. Though in all honesty, that’s probably not the goal here.
In all likelihood, this is probably just a play to acquire customers for the long run and build hype for the company’s Prime service, which has been putting out a number of ambitious projects lately as it attempts to compete with Netflix. They made a similar gamble on The Man in the High Castle and that paid off, and we’re sure that this one will, too. Or at least, we hope so given the money they’re spending.
We’ll continue to keep you posted as Amazon makes further moves with the project, but until then, tell us, do you think The Lord of the Rings can be successfully adapted for television? Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place.