Amazon is spending $650 million just on the first season of their The Lord of the Rings show
That isn't including the quarter of a billion they spent buying the rights to the show.
It was over three years ago when we first reported that Amazon Prime Video had spent $250 million (in US currency) on the rights to The Lord of the Rings, with the intention of creating a new series that would, in effect, be coming for all of those Game of Thrones fans.
Since then, there have been snippets of news here and there, including the revelation of a full cast list, but not too much, especially considering the size and popularity of the product itself.
That changed a bit this week, when Stuart Nash, the Minister for Economic Development and Tourism in New Zealand, announced that "I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone."
Now, that is $650 million in New Zealand currency, which works out at about €390 million, or about $465 million in US currency. So Amazon has spent about $715 million US dollars in total just on the first season, and that is without a single bit of promotion or publicity.
Nash also told Reuters that "The agreement with Amazon generates local jobs and creates work for local businesses. It will enable a new wave of international tourism branding and promotion for this country", and that the production had hired over 1,200 people on the series to date.
Previously, Game of Thrones was the most expensive TV series ever made, with the final season reportedly costing $90 million in total to produce, before publicity and promotion.
However, it is probably fair to say that this new fantasy epic, which will be set during The Second Age of Middle-Earth's history, completely blows that out of the water.
No word of an official release date as of yet, but reports state that the first episode will arrive on Prime Video before the end of 2021.