Amazon’s announcement that they would be moving forward with a multi-season Lord of the Rings adaptation raised quite a few eyebrows earlier this week. Since then, details of the streamer’s blockbuster deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema have been hard to come by, but insiders suggest that Amazon’s LOTR show has the potential to be the most expensive television show ever made.
According to THR, Amazon’s “megadeal” is said to be for five seasons—in addition to the potential additional spin-off series included in their commitment—with global rights to LOTR running around $250 million. As Fortune recently pointed out, that was the value of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos deal to buy The Washington Post in 2013. And that amount is just the beginning: the prequel series’ production budgets, casting, writers, producers and visual effects still need to be accounted for, which THR projects could total as much as $1 billion.
One billion dollars. For a television program.
Clearly, we are in the process of moving beyond “Peak TV” to something bigger and—we can only hope—even better. “The shift is the speed of things,” ICM Partners managing director Chris Silbermann told THR. “Now there is so much pressure to move the needle quickly, so this rush to big shows, big franchises, big budgets, big talent is all about making noise and making it fast.”
We hear you, Amazon.