The ambitious project to adapt the Lord of the Rings into an episodic television series was always going to pose some obvious challenges. Firstly, there is no way to condense the overwhelming amount of content written by J. R. R. Tolkien in a few episodes or seasons for that matter. Secondly, storytelling of such magnitude is never going to come cheap.
According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter earlier today, solutions to both of the said challenges have been readied by Amazon Studios.
When rights for the epic franchise were purchased from the Tolkien estate with $250 million last year, an agreement was reached that the Lord of the Rings will receive at least five seasons in total. There were other terms as well, such as production to begin within two years of the signing.
There is no word on the number and length of episodes that will be featured in each season. The best case for fans would be more than a dozen episodes, with each running for around the forty-minute marker. That would surely be appreciated but seems unlikely when taking into account other popular television series that have mostly opted for a smaller number of episodes in each season but with lengthier run-times.
When factoring in production expenses like casting, production, and visual effects, the Lord of the Rings is expected to cost more than $1 billion. What makes this figure shocking is that it does not cover the possible spinoff that Amazon Studios plans to do after the seasons are done.
Finally, it has been revealed that the television series might “use material from the movies” during its run. This includes the set for the Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand that has now been turned into a tourist destination, as well as costumes and other paraphernalia.