The online behemoth has finally confirmed the time period of their massive Lord of the Rings project, and it’s got everything to do with the Rings of Power.
Amazon battled Netflix for the rights last in 2017 and snagged a $250 million rights deal with the Tolkien estate, New Line, and publisher Harper Collins. That price tag is tiny compared to what the estimated cost of the production will be. The negotiations have resulted in a 5 season commitment from Amazon, and we’re likely looking at somewhere around a $100-150 million budget per season. At one point, it was estimated that the series would have a price tag of $1 billion to produce those seasons.
That’s 1,369,863,013.7 potatoes. For a television show.
There were many theories as to what period it would be set in and if we’d see familiar characters – there are stories that the movies have not covered and cultures we got a glimpse of that could be expanded. Amazon has finally given an answer (of sorts)…
“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. It 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.”
We are going to the Second Age – it’s a time filled with bloodshed that starts with the founding of Númenor and is capped off with The War of the Last Alliance. The entire period is plagued by Sauron being Sauron. He created the Rings of Power, built Barad-dûr, and lost a significant finger during the Second Age. The show will give Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings an on-screen foundation. There’s a lot to cover, and expect some episodes centered around epic battles.
No title yet, so I guess we’ll go on calling it the Lord of the Rings TV Show. The size and lack of huge names of the confirmed cast list reminds me of Game of Thrones. Casting was something GoT was very adept at – hopefully, the casting directors on this will be just as good. There’s at least one LoTR alumnus on the list.
- Peter Tait (LotR: The Return of the King)
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Power)
- Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones)
- Maxim Baldry (Doctor Who)
- Ian Blackburn (Shelter)
- Kip Chapman (Top of the Lake)
- Anthony Crum (Hush)
- Simon Merrells (Knightfall)
- Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce)
- Leon Wadham (Power Rangers Beast Morphers)
- Trystan Gravelle (The Terror)
- Augustus Prew (Into the Dark)
- Sir Lenny Henry (Doctor Who)
- Thusitha Jayasundera (Young Dracula)
- Fabian McCallum (You, Me, & The Apocalypse)
- Alex Tarrant (Night Riders)
- Sara Zwangobani (Nightmares and Dreamscapes)
- Geoff Morrell (Cloudstreet)
- Peter Mullan (Westworld)
- Lloyd Owen (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
The first season of the show (which is slated to debut on Amazon Prime later this year) is currently filming in New Zealand. If you’re hankering to watch the movies, HBOMax has both the LoTR trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy right now.