Amazon's Lord of the Rings to Cost Nearly Five Times Game of Thrones' Seasonal Budget

HBO's Game of Thrones completely changed the game when it came to the scope and scale of what a fantasy series could accomplish on the small screen, though new reports could hint that Amazon Studios' upcoming The Lord of the Rings TV series could take expectations to new heights, as the debut season reportedly cost more than $465 million to produce. By comparison, most seasons of Game of Thrones cost an estimated $100 million to produce, with the cost per episode fluctuating over its tenure based on decreases in episode count and an increase in action-packed battle scenes. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the new series was expected to cost $500 million for multiple seasons.

"What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about NZ$650 million (US$465 million) in Season 1 alone," Stuart Nash, New Zealand's Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, shared with Morning Report. "This is fantastic, it really is ... this will be the largest television series ever made."

Reports claim that Amazon could be committing to filming five seasons of the series in New Zealand, as well as potentially developing an unannounced spinoff series. Both the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as The Hobbit trilogy were filmed in New Zealand, with all six films being helmed by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson.

The new series is described, "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."

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Stay tuned for details on The Lord of the Rings TV series.

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