As the race for high-quality television content has heated up among streaming services, Amazon has been on the hunt for big, ambitious television projects to keep up with the likes of Netflix as well as Apple and Disney’s forthcoming streaming platforms — and its acquisition of The Lord of the Rings franchise brings them an enormously successful and recognisable property.
The online retail gorilla has reportedly paid $250,000 to outbid Netflix in buying a new Lord of the Rings series. Just as remarkable: Amazon went ahead and committed to a five-season run of the show.
You’d think we’ve had enough of stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Nothing against that detailed—and sometimes fun and intriguing—fictional universe, but damn. That’s a lot of storytelling, and that kind of money would buy hungry hobbits a lot of second breakfasts.
Amazon has committed to begin production by 2020, and “according to the terms of the pact: When production expenses like casting, producers and visual effects are factored in, the series is expected to cost north of $1 billion.”
Throwing all these mountains of money around apparently “stems from Amazon chief Jeff Bezos’ September 2017 mandate that Amazon is finding the next Game of Thrones.”
Well, Middle-earth could be a property that gives Amazon a significant boost in the coming streaming wars, one that could entice even more people to sign up for Amazon’s Prime service. However, if GOT is Bezos’s gold standard, we guess someone should tell him that LOTR isn’t known for male nudity, soft core-level sex scenes, or Red Wedding-style massacres that the viewers love so much.