Coming from Amazon the Lord of the Rings TV shows already cost way more than all the gold Smaug amassed in his lair – and way more than a few other fan-favorite dragons, to boot.

According to the New Zealand news publication Thing, the first season of the upcoming TV show will cost nearly NZ $ 650 (around US $ 465 million) to produce. The figure was obtained under the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act, with documents also confirming that the studio plans to shoot up to five seasons of the series there as well.

“What I can tell you is that Amazon is going to spend around NZ $ 650 million just for the first season alone,” New Zealand Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Stuart Nash said. Morning report, confirming the figure although he was unable to divulge details of how the money would be spent. “It’s fantastic, it really is.”

This new figure is good above the previously estimated costs for the fantasy series, which was originally estimated to be priced at $ 500 million for several seasons. In comparison, the first season of the HBO adaptation of George RR Martin Game of thrones cost $ 100 million to produce per season, with each episode of its final season costing nearly $ 15 million to make. Likewise, the original by Peter Jackson the Lord of the Rings trilogy cost $ 280 million, with the three Hobbit the films would cost a total of $ 623 million.

However, it should be noted that while this is the initial cost of the series, it will likely decrease in subsequent seasons, as much of that money will likely be spent on building the Earth’s world. Environment and all the people and creatures found. inside. The sets, costumes, places and accessories will certainly be reused several times over the course of the series. In addition, Amazon’s spending will get them a tax cut of NZ $ 160 million (US $ 114 million), which will undoubtedly go into future seasons.

The series – which is currently in production – has already been renewed for a second season. It will take place before the two Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, and instead explore the Second Age of Middle-earth history, also drawing inspiration from other writings by author JRR Tolkien.

According to the series’ official description, it will explore an “era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hangs in the balance. end of the sons and the greatest villain that ever sank. of Tolkien’s quill threatened to cover the whole world in darkness. Beginning in an era of relative peace, the series follows a set of characters, both familiar and new, as they face the dreaded re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elven capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the far reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that will last long after they leave. “

JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Flash Gordon) serve as showrunners on the series. The cast includes Robert Aramayo (Game of thrones), Owain Arthur (Kingdom), Markella Kavenagh (Gloaming), Nazanin Boniadi (Counterpart), Morfydd Clark (Its dark materials) and Joseph Mawle (Game of thrones), Tom Budge (The pacific), Ismael Cruz Cordova (The catch), among others.

No release date has been set for the series, but when it does arrive, it promises to be one of the most ambitious fantasy epics put on screen – on TV or otherwise.

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