It's a funny old time in the world of series right now. With Game of Thrones fast approaching its conclusion and The Walking Dead slowly running out of steam, the biggest networks and platforms are hustling to come up with a new series to make it into the big league.
While Disney has made a seriously promising offer with its plans for a Star Wars series, Amazon has come up with the most surprising proposal with a Lord of the Rings prequel, planned for a 2020 release on its web platform.
Since the announcement broke, however, J.R.R. Tolkien fans have been curious to find out whether the new show will have a budget big enough to live up to the success of the two film trilogies – no mean feat, considering the LOTR trio cost $280 million and The Hobbit films were granted a whopping $655 million.
Well, it now seems as though we have zero concerns in that area because, as rumors have it, the series is set to have a colossal budget of no less than one billion dollars. Yup, that's $1,000,000,000 for a TV show.
According to Amazon head of scripted Sharon Tal Yguado, who attempted to justify the enormous figure to the Hollywood Reporter:
"This is a unique opportunity to tell new stories in a magical world that is a global phenomenon. As we build our diverse portfolio of programming, we are making some of our big bets on tentpole series."
A budget of that scale would make the Lord of the Rings series THE most expensive television show ever made, despite fierce competition within the series industry in recent years.
Game of Thrones final season is set to cost around $90 million, the first season of The Get Down was billed at $120 million and The Crown's debut season at $130 million.
Nonetheless, the figure is set to be spread out over several seasons and could even include a potential spin-off, currently the topic of discussions at Amazon Studios. But, as a reminder, Amazon has already forked out $250 million for the rights alone so the company definitely isn't afraid to go big.
Let's hope it's worth it.