New details of Amazon’s huge Lord Of The Rings gamble come to light

We believe the word here is ‘yikes’.

Amazon prevailed in a bidding war at the end of last year, that saw it snap up the rights to make a TV show based on J R R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The deal was said to have cost Amazon an up front fee of $250m, with a commitment involved of at least two seasons. But further details have now come to light, and it seems that Amazon is in a lot deeper than first thought.

According to a new report, it has committed to making five seasons of television from the Lord Of The Rings. No pilot episode, no ‘let’s see how season one’ goes. Five seasons. That presumably involves spin-offs as well, but even so, that’s a rich commitment.

Furthermore, just to ice the cake on this one, those five seasons are expected to cost Amazon a cool $1bn before marketing costs are taken into account. Oh, and the company has to get moving on the project within two years. Presumably if it doesn’t, it risks losing the rights that it’s paid nine figures for.

It’s comfortably the richest television rights deal we can ever remember. All for a series of books that have spawned a much-love trilogy of films that fans seem perfectly happy with already…

The Hollywood Reporter