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The highly anticipated prequel series The Lord of the Rings will cost far more than previous estimates. Amazon Studios will spend $465 million on the first season of the series alone, which is solely production costs. This certainly exceeds the initial amount when it came to the figure of $500 million, which meant several seasons of the series. It should also be noted that Amazon has already spent $250 million on rights it bought back in 2017. By comparison, the budget for HBO’s Game of Thrones series was about $50 million per season or $100 million for later seasons.
The figures were released as part of the New Zealand Government’s Official Information Act, and were first reported by New Zealand’s Stuff. The documents also confirmed the studio’s plan to film a potential five seasons in New Zealand – as well as for a possible, as yet untitled spin-off series.
The series is currently in production. J. A. Bayona is in charge of directing the two-part pilot who sets the tone for the entire series. The main screenwriting duo, showrunners, and executive producers are J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
The upcoming series brings to the screens the heroic legends of the legendary Second Age of Middle-earth history for the first time. This epic story 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 age when great powers were forged, when glorious kingdoms rose but also fell into ruins, when unexpected heroes were tested, when hope hung on the thinnest threads and when the greatest villain whichever originated from Tolkien’s pen threatened to wrap the whole world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble of characters, both familiar and new, as they face what they have long feared – the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elven capital Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will result in a legacy that lives long after they disappeared.
The cast consists of Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones), Owain Arthur (Kingdom), Nazanin Boniadi (Counterpart), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Ray Donovan), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Power), Benjamin Walker (Heart of the Sea), Peter Mullan (Westworld), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Ian Blackburn (Unbreakable Beau), Kip Chapman (Top of the Lake), Anthony Crum (The Wilds), Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce), Trystan Gravelle (The Terror), Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch), Thusitha Jayasundera (Donmar), Fabian McCallum (You, Me & The Apocalypse), Simon Merrells (Knightfall), Geoff Morrell (Grassroots), Lloyd Owen (Apollo 18), Augustus Prew (Into the Dark), Peter Tait (The Return of the King), Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich), Leon Wadham (Go Girls) and Sara Zwangobani (Doctor Doctor).
The first season of the prequel series The Lord of the Rings is expected on Amazon later this year.