Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series With Multi-Season Commitment

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Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series With Multi-Season Commitment

Postby Pip » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:16 pm

In its quest to launch a hit fantasy series of the caliber of Game of Thrones, Amazon has closed a massive deal, said to be close to $250 million, to acquire the global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The streaming service has given a multi-season commitment to a LOTR series in the pact, which also includes a potential spin-off series.

The LOTR original series, a prequel to Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which produced the hugely successful LOTR movie franchise.

No details about the deal were disclosed but it believed to be dwarfing any TV series pact to date with a whopping price tag attached.

Amazon, Netflix and HBO had been approached by the Tolkien estate, who had been shopping the project. It came with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200 – $250 million range, and I hear Amazon landed the rights by paying close to $250 million. That is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production, in proposition whose finances industry observers called “insane.” It is a payment that is made sight unseen as there is no concept, and there are no creative auspices attached to the possible series. On top of that, the budget for a fantasy series of that magnitude is likely to be $100-$150 million a season.

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

Set in Middle Earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.

“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

Given Amazon’s mandate to launch a big fantasy series of the scope of Game Of Thrones, which comes directly from honcho Jeff Bezos, and Amazon’s deep coffers, the company was considered the leading contender for a Lord Of the Rings series. Bezos has been hands-on involved in the matters of entertainment division Amazon Studios following the purge of its top executives, led by Roy Price, and has been taking meetings and making calls to agents.

The Lord of the Rings deal eclipses some big-ticket series commitments Amazon has made over the last couple of years — $80 million for the six-episode Woody Allen show Crisis in Six Scenes, $70+ million for Matt Weiner’s eight-episode The Romanoffs, and $160 for two seasons of David O. Russell’s series, which now has been axed after about $40 million spent.
Hope this works out.

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Re: Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series With Multi-Season Commitment

Postby VincentLupo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 am

Go Amazon. If anyone has the cash to do it it's them.
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Re: Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series With Multi-Season Commitment

Postby ctaulbee » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:07 am

Yup they have money to burn, literally so parking a few hundred million to bookmark a possible hot franchise like this is nothing to them.

I can't see how they will ever lose because even if they don't ever shoot a single frame of it, won't matter as someone eventually will make this work in some way and guess who has the rights now...

:cheesy

I hope it works out too as I'm a huge fan and there is a ton of material they can draw from.
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Re: Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series With Multi-Season Commitment

Postby chouette » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:10 am

Agree. Amazon has very deep pocket and can certainly make this work.

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