Last month a report emerged suggesting that Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series looks set to overtake The Crown as the most expensive TV show ever made, with a budget of around $500 million for two seasons.
Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, those numbers aren’t quite accurate, as Amazon has in fact been granted a FIVE season commitment – at the outrageous cost of one billion dollars – providing that the streaming service begins production within two years.
The report goes on to reveal that the deal between Amazon, the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins and movie rights holders New Line Cinema also includes potential spinoffs, as well as the possibility of using “material from the films”.
As for what that means, presumably Amazon is looking to set it in the same Middle-earth as Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies (it’s already been revealed that the current plan is for the series to be a prequel to LotR). It’s also said that Jackson’s attorney “helped start a dialogue between Jackson and Amazon” and it is possible that he could take on an executive producer credit (and direct a few episodes?).
If rumours are to be believed, it seems The Lord of the Rings isn’t the only project that Amazon is looking to splash a billion dollars on, as it was reported earlier this month that the company is also looking to cough up that figure for a three-season adaptation of Liu Cixin’s Hugo-winning sci-fi novel trilogy Remembrance of Earth’s Past, a.k.a. The Three-Body Problem.