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An epic price tag for an epic tale.
On Friday, April 16, it was revealed that Amazon's television adaptation of The Lord of the Rings has a budget of almost $465 million. Stuart Nash, New Zealand's Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, announced this sum to the country's Radio New Zealand.
"This is fantastic, it really is…What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million [NZ] in season one alone," Nash shared according to Variety. "This will be the largest television series ever made."
And, as Variety confirmed through their sources, Nash's price tag is accurate. We can't say we're surprised that the highly anticipated fantasy series based off J.R.R. Tolkien's novels is filming in New Zealand.
As fans of the franchise well know, Peter Jackson filmed his critically acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand. It's said the Amazon series will take place thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Per Amazon Studios, the upcoming fantasy drama "brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history…and 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."
The description continued, "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."
As we E! News reported in 2017, Amazon's streaming service arm confirmed they had acquired the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings for $250 million and made a multi-season commitment. The Prime Original series will be produced alongside the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.
While no premiere date has been announced, we do know the cast includes Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman.
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