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Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series could cost $1 billion to produce, but will you watch?

November 15, 2017

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series could cost $1 billion to produce, but will you watch?

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- By now, you’ve heard that Amazon is making a television series based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings.”

Set in Middle Earth, where humans roam among Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Dragons, and Wizards, the show will explore the period between “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” Amazon Studios exec Sharon Tal Yguado said in a statement. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

That epic journey is expected to cost a lot of money.

Amazon’s deal is for “multiple” seasons -- reportedly five -- and a potential spinoff. The Hollywood Reporter estimates Amazon paid $250 million for the “LOTR” TV rights. Factoring in the production costs, the series could end up costing the studio a precious $1 billion, making it the most expensive series of all-time according to the trade pub.

With the “Lord of the Rings” series, which still doesn’t have a premiere date, cast or showrunner, Amazon is clearly looking to fill the void to be left by “Game of Thrones,” which is entering its final season,” while also banking on the success of the two “LOTR” movie trilogies directed by Peter Jackson.

Whether or not that rather expensive gamble pays off remains to be seen.