Fans of J.J. Tolkien’s colossal fantasy franchise, Lord of the Rings were overjoyed when Amazon bought the television rights to from the author in late 2017. The $250 million deal looks like it’s finally coming to fruition as new show which is set to stream on Amazon Prime went into production phase in a New Zealand location. Much more exciting is the news that the show is set to be the most expensive television production in history, costing a whopping $465 million to produce!
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Reeling from the shock of Amazon competitor HBO’s announcement of reigniting it’s most successful franchise, Game of Thrones, fans are certain to receive a heft dose of wizards and dragons in their TV diet. Yet Amazon has faith and is really pulling out all the stops, even announcing a second season of this highly anticipated how long before the network set an airing date. Showrunning this epic endeavor are executive producers and Patrick McKay J.D. Payne, while it’s to be directed by J.A Bayona of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom fame. While the production phase was temporarily on hold due to COVID-19, finally cameras went up back up in an undisclosed location in New Zealand.
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“This is fantastic, it really is,” Stuart Nash, Prime Minister of the country’s economic development and tourism boasts to the Morning Report, this will be the largest television series ever made.”
The 2017 deal came after Tolkien’s estate sued Warner Bros. – the company who produced the iconic 2001 movie which put the catapulted the franchise along with the Hobbit – on accounts of copyright infringement. The estate sued the company for $80 million ad both parties reportedly settled the case in better positions than they were beforehand. Amazon then swiftly swooped in, closing a deal with the intentions of creating at least five season of the upcoming show. It’s reported that former CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos played a pivotal role in spearheading the negotiations in an effort to keep up with the Goliath success of Game of Thrones.
The show’s plot is said to tell the tale of the “heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history,” according to Collider. For those who aren’t as privy to Tolkein’s expansive lore, this means that the show will in fact be a prequel. It’s set around 3000 years prior to the events that took place in the original movie. With a huge star studded cast of such actors as Lenny Henry, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxine Cunliffe, this pricey, new addition to the LOTR franchise is sure to live up to it’s enormous expectation.
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Sources: Independent, Consequence , Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Collider
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