Amazon is investing heavily in its planned TV series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. One billion dollars to be precise.

Just let that number sink in for a minute.

This is all according to a new article from the Hollywood Reporter, which estimates that once the cost of such things as casting, producers, visual effects, and everything else involved with producing five seasons’ worth of television set in Middle-Earth, Amazon could wind up having spent $1 billion or more. Of course, that’s also taking into account the $250 million Amazon spent on aquiring the rights in the first place, but even $750 million is a gargantuan sum to spend on a TV show (that works out to about $150 million per season, by the way).

New Line Cinema

As if that isn’t crazy enough, there could be even more costs added to the production. Amazon reportedly plans to use “material” from Peter Jackson’s acclaimed film series, meaning they would have to pay off New Line Studios and its parent company Warner Bros. to use said material. Just what material Amazon could be planning to use is anyone’s guess – the series is reportedly set sometime before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring – but it’s hardly surprising that the company would want to adhere close to the style of Jackson’s films, given how successful they were.

It’s no secret that Amazon wants to compete with Game of Thrones – or rather, whatever HBO makes after Game of Thrones since that show is ending next year – but is spending $1 billion or more worth it or just plain overkill? At any rate, with the kind of cash Amazon is putting into this, Lord of the Rings TV could be the most impressive big-budget series ever made and we’re very curious to see how it all turns out.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter