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Amazon's The Lord Of The Rings To Cost $465 Million For The First Season

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Amazon's The Lord Of The Rings To Cost $465 Million For The First Season

Amazon's forthcoming The Lord of the Rings television series is set to cost $465 million (£336 million) for just the first season, according to reports from The Hollywood Reporter.

The hotly-anticipated fantasy series is set to be 'the largest television series ever made' and the cost of that is set to match.

In short, they're going to use up all of Smaug's gold kept deep in the bowels of the Lonely Mountain.

OK, that's a reference to The Hobbit, but you get the idea. It's the same world.

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Speaking to Morning Report, Stuart Nash, the Minister for Economic Development and Tourism in New Zealand - where the show is set to be filmed - said: "What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about NZ$650 million in season one alone,

"This is fantastic, it really is...this will be the largest television series ever made."

The original films weren't cheap, either. Credit: New Line Cinema
The original films weren't cheap, either. Credit: New Line Cinema

The humungous production costs have been released under the New Zealand Official Information Act, and they also confirmed the possibility that there could be five seasons of the show, as well as some as-yet-unannounced spin-off programmes.

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If you're looking for a benchmark against which to measure this, Game of Thrones cost about $100 million per season, with episodes in season one costing about $6 million, which rose to $15 million by the final series.

That should also act as a reminder that pumping more money into a TV series doesn't always guarantee that it's going to come off.

Furthermore, this initial figure for the first season might just be a result of the fantasy world that they're planning to create.

When these projects start, a lot of infrastructure and things have to be created, but they'll obviously be ready for any subsequent seasons, so the costs could be less than the first outing.

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The Kingdom of Numenor is set to feature in the new series. Credit: Amazon
The Kingdom of Numenor is set to feature in the new series. Credit: Amazon

This spending also triggers a huge tax rebate from the NZ government as well, which has caused controversy as the government - it's claimed - could end up on the hook for millions thanks to the Amazon show.

The New Zealand treasury has labelled the show a 'significant fiscal risk' as there's no upper limit to what Amazon - and, by extension, the government - could spend.

However, the benefits from tourism and job creation are mitigating factors on that point.

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The official description of the show reads: "The Lord of the Rings 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."

A map showing some of the realms that are set to feature. Credit: Amazon
A map showing some of the realms that are set to feature. Credit: Amazon

"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.

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"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."

Featured Image Credit: Amazon

Topics: TV and Film, Money, Interesting, UK Entertainment, US Entertainment, Amazon

Tom Wood
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