Monday, November 13, 2017

Roads Go Ever On

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It looks like we'll be getting a Lord of the Rings TV series on Amazon sometime in the near future...

Amazon has closed a massive deal — said to be close to $250 million — to acquire 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 spinoff 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 million-$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 million-$150 million a season.

Wow...that is a LOT of money to pay for the rights to a brand that has already told the story beautifully over multiple films and made a buttload of cash worldwide.

It'll be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

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