Amazon Prime Video might boast over 140 million subscribers, but a lot of people are clearly much more interested in having packages delivered to their door free of charge rather than watching television. It may be the second biggest streaming service on the planet behind only Netflix in terms of sheer customer base, but the platform can’t come close to matching the market leaders in terms of buzz for their original shows.
Of course, there are some great titles exclusive to Amazon with The Boys becoming one of the most-watched shows in the world during season 2, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a regular awards season favorite and The Expanse is arguably the best sci-fi series this side of Battlestar Galactica, but in sweeping terms, the roster is still pretty thin.
However, Amazon have bet big on The Lord of the Rings, forking out $250 million just to secure the rights to the source material before committing a billion dollars to five seasons of content. That makes it the most expensive episodic project in the history of the industry by far, and the company will no doubt be looking for a return on their massive investment.
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Shooting recently resumed after spending months on hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic, adding 20 new cast members for good measure, and the first official synopsis has now been revealed, which you can check out below.
“Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.
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.”
Based on the description, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings is clearly trying to distance itself from Peter Jackson’s all-time great trilogy and the much lesser Hobbit prequels, but the door is still left wide open for one or two fan favorites to potentially make cameo appearances somewhere down the line.