New details have emerged for Amazon's upcoming The Lord of the Rings TV series. The deal was initially announced last year to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's epic land of Middle Earth to the small screen, which cost the company a whopping $250 million, just for starters in order to get the very complicated deal done. When all is said and done, the The Lord of the Rings show will likely wind up being the most expensive show ever made, costing more than $1 billion. Part of that has to do with the fact that it's now been revealed that the deal Amazon has is for five seasons.
It was originally reported that The Lord of the Rings TV series would span multiple seasons, but now five is said to be the number. Not only that, but a spin-off series is also in the cards, which will likely depend on how successful this show is. Attorney Matt Galsor, who helped get the deal done, which involved publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema and Amazon, had this to say.
"This is the most complicated deal I've ever seen. but it was handled relatively quickly, in a way that brought the parties together in a close relationship. It was tough, but everybody liked each other and felt like a team more as the deal closed."
Interestingly, Warner Bros. and New Line didn't have the TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, but since they participated in these negotiations, Amazon may use material from the movies in the series, which is important. We know that this series won't re-adapt the movies, but that still raises questions as to what exactly the story of this show is going to be. As for whether or not Peter Jackson, who directed all three Lord of the Rings movies and The Hobbit trilogy, will be involved? The decision is his to make, as he's apparently been invited to help out of he so chooses. Here's what his attorney Peter Nelson had to say.
"It's very much a creature of the times. We are in an era where streamers are bidding up the price of programming. I think Amazon is taking a page out of the studios' emphasis on franchises. They also are realizing that with the overproduction of television, you need to get the eyeballs to the screen, and you can do that with franchise titles."
Netflix, unsurprisingly, was in the mix to win the rights for this Lord of the Rings show, but Amazon managed to get the deal done. An important new detail to consider is that Amazon has two years to start production from the time the deal was signed. That means they're very much on the clock and can't sit on their hands with this.
Finally, there's the matter of Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein. Harvey has been ostracized from Hollywood following years of sexual misconduct that came to light last year. However, he and his brother were profit partners on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and they sued to get money for The Hobbit movies, ultimately getting $12.5 million for the first one, but nothing further. At the present time, there's no indication that they're trying to muscle their way into the series deal, but they may try to make some claim in the future. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.